George Rex Parker, affectionately known as Sam, a cherished father, adored husband, and steadfast member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, peacefully passed into eternal life on June 25, 2023. Born the tenth of eleven children to Gladys and Robert Harold Parker on September 23, 1937, in Joseph, Utah. Sam was a testament to the beauty of humble beginnings and hard work.
Raised on a small cow-calf ranch, Sam learned early on the value of a strong work ethic and the rhythms of the land. These lessons shaped him into the dedicated, resilient man he became, instilling in him a lifelong love for the land. This love culminated in the development of his own ranch in Hanna, Utah, which served as a gathering place for family, filled with laughter, love, and cherished memories.
Sam's journey of faith began at a young age. He proudly served a two-year LDS mission in the Great Lakes Mission beginning October 14, 1954. His mission paved the way for a life of steadfast faith, commitment, and service to the church. His relationship with his neighbor, President Spencer W. Kimball, played an instrumental role in his spiritual journey, providing mentorship and inspiration throughout his life.
Upon completing his mission, Sam was fortunate to meet Saundra, the love of his life; they were married in the Manti Temple. Together, they nurtured a home filled with love, faith, and endless support. Their partnership bolstered Sam's pursuit of education, leading him to achieve a Bachelor of Science from Utah State University, and later a Doctorate in Dentistry and Masters in Orthodontics from St. Louis University's medical school.
An accomplished orthodontist, Sam's innovative approach earned him the prestigious Milo Hellman Research Award. His humble beginnings were the foundation of his success, which never allowed him to forget the importance of service and the value of every individual.
Sam's love for his family knew no bounds. He is survived by his wife Saundra, his children Darin (Rachelle) Parker, Kevin (Deana) Parker, Rebecca Parker, his daughter-in-law Katherine Parker, 19 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. Sam was preceded in death by his sons Justin Parker and Ryan Parker. His later years were devoted to his ranch in Hanna, a place that encapsulated his roots and served as a testament to his enduring love for his family.
An artist at heart, Sam's creativity was expressed through his painting, sculpting, and designing. He was a lifelong learner and an entrepreneur, and his legacy continues to inspire all to strive for their God-given potential.
Today, as we remember Sam, we celebrate a life marked by love, hard work, faith, and creativity. His spirit will continue to inspire all who knew him, and his legacy will live on through the countless lives he touched. May we find comfort in the knowledge that Sam's remarkable life and enduring spirit will forever be a part of us.
Funeral services will be held at the Cottonwood 2nd ward located at 2080 E. 5165 S. (Donelson Lane) Holladay, UT on Saturday, July 8th at 11 am with a visitation 1 hour prior. Interment to follow at Larkin Sunset Lawn.
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