While Ralph James “Jim” Parker will be remembered for his long career in banking, his legacy may well be his leadership, encouragement, and dedication to giving back to the community. His long-time co-worker and friend Andy McCreanor said Jim felt success in business meant also giving back and he passed that belief on to others by example – his many community efforts.
Jim was involved in multiple community organizations as a Pee Wee Football coach, Knothole Baseball coach, girls softball coach, Junior Achievement advisor, church youth counselor, Kids Helping Kids, CNE Bus Advisory, president and member of the CNE School Board, Clermont County Board of Education member, Boy Scouts Advisory Committee, CNE Athletic Boosters president, GMAA board member, YMCA board member, Milford High Sport & Advisory Committee, Clermont Hoxworth Blood Drive chairman, Clermont County Sheriff Selection Committee, Milford Chamber of Commerce director, Small Business Clermont United Way chairman, Clermont County Excellence in Education Program president, vice president and treasurer, University of Cincinnati Advisory Committee, Trinity United Methodist Church Finance chairman, University of Cincinnati for Law Enforcement Scholarship Committee member, DARE Program, 4-H Advisory Committee, Clermont Law Enforcement Group vice president, Milford Youth Football co-founder, Clermont Chamber of Commerce Leadership School member, and Southwest Ohio Council on Aging. He chaired many fund raisers, new member drives with the Clermont and Milford Chambers and CNE Schools. There are many more groups and organizations not mentioned that Jim donated his time and effort.
Jim was the ultimate community cheerleader, said Jeff Lykins, whose father, Don, was Jim’s best friend for many years. Jim taught Jeff a lot about community service. “He was always willing to give and willing to help people. He was a person I looked up to in my life. My best memories were watching Jim and my dad talk about business.”
For his many contributions to the business community, Jim was named the Clermont Chamber of Commerce Pacesetter in 1991. Jim received many other honors: Milford Chamber Sport Award 1969, Milford Jr. Chamber Man of the Year 1970, Milford Area Jaycees Outstanding Young Man 1971, Milford High Hall of Fame 1985, Milford Chamber Man of the Year 1990, Milford Person of the Year 1990, and Milford Schools Foundation Alumni Honoree 2015.
Jim graduated from Milford High School in 1957, attended Kent State Banking School, attended University MD Business Courses, and attended and taught American Banking. He also served and played baseball for the U.S. Air Force. He worked at Clermont National Bank, Banc One, and National Bank & Trust.
Jim and his wife of 59 years, Nancy, raised four children: Jill and Scott Mulder, Brett and Kimi Parker, Dan and Stephanie Parker, and Elizabeth “Betsy” and Justin Taulbee.
He and his twin sister, the late Jean Ackermann, were founding members of the Milford Schools Foundation. Upon her death, Foundation members named a scholarship in her name. Foundation members also named a scholarship in his name: The Jim Parker Student Athlete Scholarship.
Jim has left Clermont County a better place by his involvement in the Clermont Chamber and many other organizations. He will be missed but his example of community service will live on in the many businesses and organizations he helped throughout his life.