|Birth: ||Oct. 16, 1929|
|Death: ||Jul. 6, 2005|
Friday, July 08, 2005
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Patrick Streeter Parker grew up with Parker Hannifin, the company founded by his father, and helped it grow by following what he called the "sandbox rules" of fair play, leadership and honesty.
Parker, 75, died Wednesday at his home in Cleveland Heights of complications related to cancer. He was chairman emeritus of Parker Hannifin, now a global manufacturer of motion-control products with more than 50,000 employees.
Born in Cleveland to Arthur L. and Helen (Fitzgerald) Parker, he liked to say that he learned in the sandbox of his East Side elementary school how to be successful.
"Pat, to everyone who ever met him, was a man of influence, integrity and warmth with a lifelong enthusiasm for innovators and their inventions," Don Washkewicz, chairman and chief executive officer of Parker Hannifin, said in a statement.
Washkewicz said Parker was dedicated to customer service and regularly asked employees for ideas to continue improving the business.
Except for three years as a Navy officer, Parker spent his working career at the company his father had founded in 1918. He began as a youngster during school breaks and through the years worked in a variety of roles before becoming president in 1968, chief executive officer in 1971 and chairman in 1977. He retired as an employee in 1994, but continued as chairman until 1999.
The company had annual sales of $197 million when Parker became president and began expanding its range of hydraulic, pneumatic and electromechanical products. Parker Hannifin, with headquarters in Mayfield Heights, now has annual sales of about $8 billion.
Parker's interests weren't limited to business. He liked to ski and sail, and had decorated his office as a ship captain's quarters, using oak planks cut in the 1690s to create the sloping illusion of a hull.
Those who knew him said Parker loved to have a good time. He once wore a leather outfit to ride his Harley-Davidson motorcycle on stage during the Cleveland Ballet's performance of "Blue Suede Shoes."
He also was heavily involved in the community, serving on the boards of Case Western Reserve University, University School, the Musical Arts Association, Playhouse Square Foundation and the Ohio Aerospace Institute.
Parker was the first chairman of the board of the Gateway Economic Development Corp., which led the development of Jacobs Field and Gund Arena.
In addition, he had served on a number of other Northeast Ohio boards and was named International Executive of the Year in 1981 by the Cleveland World Trade Association and was the co-recipient of the 1983 Achievement Award from the National Fluid Power Association. Parker was inducted into "Inside Business" magazine's Hall of Fame in 2004. He earned a bachelor's degree from Williams College and a master's of business administration from the Harvard School of Business.
Since retiring, Parker continued to scout new markets for Parker Hannifin technology and was involved in five privately owned companies. Those include an indoor sports park in Lake County and a real estate company he owned jointly with his son in San Diego.
Parker is survived by his wife Madeleine; their son Maximillian, of Charlotte, N.C., and daughter Astrid, of Cleveland Heights; and three children by a former marriage, daughters, Susan Parker Decker, of Lexington, Mass., and Nancy Parker, of Hartford, Conn., and son Streeter, of San Diego, Calif.; two sisters; a brother; and four grandchildren. A daughter, Helen, preceded him in death, in 1992.
Memorial services will be Wednesday, at 5:30 p.m. at Severance Hall, 11001 Euclid Avenue, followed by a reception.
Created by: William Taber
Record added: Apr 27, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 26436485