American Veteran 04

John Parker

June 25, 1922 ~ November 18, 2020 (age 98)

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John (Przybylski) Parker, 98, passed away in Merrill, on November 18, 2020 with his beloved wife, Dorothy, at this side and holding his hand. John and Dorothy were married for 73 years and met as teens at the fence between their two farms in rural Hannibal, Wi.

John was born on June 25, 1922 in Minneapolis, MN, son of Anthony and Pearl Przybylski. His family lived in Iowa, South Dakota, and Chicago before settling down on a farm in Hannibal. In September 1942, John enlisted in the Army Air Force. After surviving a crash in a B-24 training flight he went on to serve during WWII as an airplane and engine mechanic. He received an honorable discharge in January 1946. John was a long-time member of the American Legion Montgomery Plant Dudley Post 10 in Wausau. In 2010, he joined fellow WWII Veterans on the inaugural Never Forgotten Honor Flight to Washington D.C. with daughter, Patti as his guardian.

John and Dorothy moved to Wausau in 1949. They raised 5 children, while John worked more than 40 years for Graebel Moving and Storage. He was an expert wood worker and used his skills to restore and repair furniture for Graebel and the annual treasure sale at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Wausau.

John and Dorothy were long time, hardworking members of St. Matthew’s, and few church activities took place without their joyful participation. John was very proud of his family and always eager to build, restore or fix many cherished furniture pieces for them. He had a great sense of humor—and always a joke to tell or a sly, mischievous smile to share. He was also a tireless volunteer for many community projects and organizations.

John was preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Helen Chaplinski.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy (“that’s one amazing woman,” he would often say.) and their 5 children, Steve (Penni) Parker, Breezy Point, MN, Robert Parker, Corpus Christi, TX, Patti (Kirk) Howard, Merrill, Tom (Tammy) Parker, Wausau, and Lisa Parker (Joe Richarderson), Reston, VA; 5 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.

The family will hold a private memorial service to celebrate John’s life next spring.

John will be missed by countless friends and extended family that he cherished.

The family would like to acknowledge and thank all the wonderful healthcare providers and staff at Pinecrest Nursing Home in Merrill.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund is being established.

Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Wausau is in charge of arrangements.  Online condolences may be expressed at

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