David Stuart Parker


David Stuart Parker was born in Ft. Huachuca, Arizona, on March 22, 1919, the son of Roscoe Stewart and Marguerite Blossom Parker. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1940; graduated in civil engineering from the University of California in 1949; and from the Army War College in 1957. He married Betty Hamilton on May 2, 1942.

Parker was commissioned second lieutenant of the U.S. Army in 1940, he advanced through the ranks to major general in 1967. Was assigned member of Staffs Administrative of Admiral Nimitz and General MacArthur, in 1945; was chief of Construction Division, Office of Chief Engineer in Tokyo, Japan from 1945 to 1948. He was instructor and then professor of military topography and graphics in the U.S. Military Academy at West Point from 1949 to 1952; Assistant District Engineer USACE in Portland, Oregon from 1954 to 1956; Chief of Strategic Planning Group Office Chief Engineer from 1957 to 1960.

Parker was assigned Lieutenant Governor of the Panama Canal Zone from 1963 to 1965; from 1968 to 1969, he was commander of the Engineer Troops in Vietnam. Then on March 3, 1971 he was appointed Governor of the Panama Canal Zone and served in that position until March 23, 1975.

As governor, Parker was directly involved in the frequent changes and improvements, one was the guidance and leadership necessary to develop the basis and presentations for the first tolls increase in Canal history. Still another change was a new Marine Traffic Control Center begun at La Boca and officially unveiled on the 60th anniversary of the Canal opening. Under his tenure, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Federal Women’s Program were established.

Among his innovations in the personnel and organization field were the assignment of a Foreign Service Officer to the Canal administration; the assignment of a Coast Guard officer to the Marine Bureau; the creation of a new Security Division; the creation of an advisory council on education; and major efforts to utilize the Canal Zone Civic Council for substantive input in the decision-making process. Parker died on May 9, 1990.