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Ivan Parker

Updated: Mar 18

Ivan Lee Parker passed away March 11th, 2022 peacefully at home with family in Austin, Texas after his long struggle with Parkinson’s Disease and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.

Ivan was born on November 22, 1943 in the great city of Des Moines, Iowa to Percy Richard and Jessie Alberta Parker. He graduated from Des Moines East High School in 1962, full of Eastside pride! The U.S. Army drafted him in March of 1965 during the Vietnam conflict where he served as a Scout in the 2nd Battalion, 36th Infantry in Frankfurt, Germany. Although he would have rather been on the battlefields of Vietnam serving alongside his comrades, his family always believed he was very fortunate to have been stationed in Germany where he was able to explore Europe a bit and ultimately return home safely on March 29th, 1967.

Three days later on April 1st, he unexpectedly met the love of his life, Mary Anderson. They wasted no time and were married on August 17th, 1967 and were together for nearly 55 wonderful years. Ivan worked for 34 years as a tire builder at Firestone Tire & Rubber Company in Des Moines. He was recognized as the top builder in his department for many years and earned a trip to the company headquarters in Japan. In addition to his wife and children, he was passionate about the outdoors and enjoyed traveling the world, camping, fishing, and especially playing golf with family and friends.

Ivan and Mary raised two children, Angela Ballantine (married to Robert Ballantine) of Haddon, Australia and Cristopher (married to Gina Garcia) of Austin, Texas, five granddaughters, Daniella, Raquel, and Sofia Parker; and Jordan and Bronte Ballentine, and great granddaughter Parker Rose Ingram who was fortunate enough to briefly meet her Great Grandpa before he passed.

Ivan is predeceased by his brothers Dick, Carl, and Gene, and survived by his brother Dan and sisters Mary and Carolyn, all of Des Moines.

Visitation will be 2-4 p.m., Sunday, March 20, 2022 at Merle Hay Funeral Home. Ivan’s funeral will be at 2 p.m., Monday, March 21 at the funeral home with interment following at Chapel Hill Gardens.


For those unable to attend the funeral, you may view a livestream of the service at the following link https://player.vimeo.com/video/689478555