November 23, 1923 – May 28, 2020
After a life well lived (Phineas) Parker MacCarthy passed away very peacefully at home on May 28, 2020, surrounded by loved ones and close to his beautiful garden. Parker was an Air Force Veteran, husband, father, grandfather, and friend to many.
Parker was born on November 23, 1923, in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. After spending time on the Isle of Pines in Cuba, where his parents Ashton and Dolenna managed a plantation, he returned with his family to Canada in 1926, settling in Burnaby, B.C. where he grew up with his brother Jim, and sisters Sandra and Jessie. In 1942 Parker interrupted his studies at Burnaby South High School to enlist in the Canadian Air Force in WWII and served with a Royal Air Force (RAF) squadron in the Burma Campaign as a wireless air gunner until 1946, achieving the rank of Warrant Officer. He attended the University of British Columbia and graduated with a degree in Agriculture (BSA) in 1954. When his father suffered a stroke, Parker took over his insurance business, MacCarthy Agencies. He was invited to become a member of the Notaries Society of B.C. and expanded his practice to include real estate. His work included negotiating several school sites on behalf of the Burnaby School district, and for the Municipality of Burnaby.
Parker met his first wife, Margaret, when they attended UBC. They married in 1948 and raised their three children in a home they built in Burnaby. Parker, and his family, along with good friends, spent 17 years vacationing on Hornby Island, creating a lifetime of memories. Parker loved the outdoors and was always up for an adventure. In 1975, he joined a group of friends to purchase and develop a property at Spruce Lake, in the South Chilcotin region of B.C. Parker loved Spruce Lake. It was there that he found a passion for horseback adventures – including one ten-day excursion without encountering another soul. Parker was also an avid member of the Burnaby Winter Club and spent many years curling. Margaret passed away in 1987 after a courageous battle with cancer, and soon after, Parker retired at the age of 68.
Parker met Barbara in 1989, and they later married and settled in South Surrey, where they enjoyed the next 25 years together in their warm and welcoming home. Parker welcomed Barb’s family as his own, and they loved to host events such as garden parties, including their own wedding, Easter egg hunts, gingerbread house building nights and many special occasions. Parker and Barbara took many memorable trips including to Spruce Lake, Hawaii, Australia, California, Mexico, Cuba, and Nova Scotia. Parker shared his lifelong love of gardening with Barbara, and they spent many years building a garden oasis that Parker was able to enjoy until his final days.
Parker was predeceased by his first wife Margaret, his baby sister Margaret (Dee), and siblings Jessie in 1977, and Jim in 2014. He is survived by his wife Barbara Jean MacCarthy of White Rock, and his sister Sandra Heydon of Chemainus, son Steven (Sheila), grandchildren Christopher and Kelly, daughter Jane and son Gregory and granddaughter Precious, and Barbara’s children David (Sue) grandchildren Samantha and Scott, Cheryl (Doug) grandchildren Taylor and Paige and several nephews and nieces.
Thank you to all the caregivers (Lynn, Jean, Paul and our very special friend Jan) for their unwavering support, patience and dedication to Parker’s care in the last two years of his life, without which we would not have been able to fulfill his wish of being at home for the last part of his journey.
Parker lived life to the fullest and always made others feel welcome, whether as a friend, family member or neighbour. He had a wonderful sense of humour and was quick with a joke or story to share. Parker has enriched all our lives with his encouragement, love and support and will be deeply missed.
Due to COVID-19, a gathering of the immediate family will be held to celebrate Parker’s life, with a public gathering to take place when it is safe to do so. Please visit VictoryMemorialPark.com for future communications and a commemorative version of Parker’s obituary.
In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Peace Arch Hospital Foundation would be much appreciated.
Peace Arch Hospital Foundation
15521 Russel Ave
White Rock B.C.