Lifetime NMPA member Pal Parker passed away in late January.
The Family of Pal Parker announce the passing of our father Pal Parker Jr.
Pal is survived by his brother Bob Parker, his children Karen Bradley, Lisa Korbach, Russ Parker, Julie Parker, Brandye Parker, his grandchildren and great grandchild.
Pal’s life has been devoted to his family and his strong faith. His hope for the future is assured in the words of Jesus promised Kingdom. We await Pal’s resurrection along with his dear wife Virginia Parker who passed in 1999.
Pal led an exciting life! He was a popular photographer who traveled the world creating hundreds of thousands of images. Pal specialized in Auto racing photography, but he was accomplished at all types of the art. Pal leaves a legacy of his vision and hard work in the images he made.
Pal was also involved in real estate from an early age. Pal’s father and mother, Pal Parker Sr, and Irma Parker moved to Flagler Beach Florida in 1946. Pal Parker Sr. started developing real estate when Pal Jr was young. Pal Parker Jr’s love of developing planning and selling real estate was a big part of his life. The Family real estate business was always on his mind.
Pal and Ginnie raised their six children in the mountains of North Carolina near Maggie Valley, the family spent over 20 years working at the well known “Ghost Town in the Sky” western themed amusement park. Pal and Ginnie owned and operated the photography concessions on the park. During those years Pal Parker made promotional photos and postcards to promote the park. The Park owners brought in many famous celebrities and actors. Pal and his family were privileged to host and photograph many of these celebrities.
Pal Parker Jr. roots in auto racing date back to his early teenage years in Daytona. Pal worked the beach races selling programs, pulling timing cable and assisting the race flaggers. As he got older, Pal and his friends built and raced Drag cars which led to Pal becoming the Chief Stewart for the NASCAR timing division, a little-known NASCAR venture that only lasted a couple years. Pal Raced the “Flying Mile” and got his gold “100MPH” pin in the early 50s.
In 1964 Pal was hired as a staff photographer at Daytona International Speedway and began his career in Auto Racing Photography. His keen eye and outgoing personality quickly made him a standout photographer. “Big” Bill France, founder of NASCAR kept Pal busy as one of the top photographers photographing the VIP’s and celebrities. As his popularity spread Pal landed several major NASCAR sponsor accounts. In 1965 Pal went freelance with his race career. He became the official photographer for Charlotte Motor Speedway and several other racing venues. Pal Parker received assignments in Europe from nationally recognized American companies. His talents in photography were noticed by top advertising agencies and commercial clients. Pal’s business relationships and friends helped make his racing career an amazing experience. Through the years Pal was a participant in all four the “real” Cannonball Sea to Shining Sea Memorial races. Along the way Pal made some amazing friends and “in the end it is not the years in your life, but the life in your years.
Through the years Pal Parker Jr, has been loved by so many he met along his journey. He has impacted the lives of his family friends and those who he photographed and helped in his real estate experience.