J. Richard Parler

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J. Richard Parler
October 16, 1925 to July 28, 2018

On Saturday, July 28, 2018, Rev. J. Richard Parler, 92, entered heaven’s gates and met his Savior face to face. Mr. Parler, a long-time resident of Wadena, known simply as Pastor to many, was born October 16, 1925, near Cameron, South Carolina, to Paul Jefferson and Mary (Kemmerlin) Parler. Upon graduation from high school in St. Matthews, South Carolina, he enlisted in the US Navy where he served aboard the USS Wasp during WWII. Shortly after his return from the Pacific, Mr. Parler met Sybil Maree Edmonds, whom he married on June 9, 1947. In spite of his aunt’s dire prediction that, “it will never last,” they remained a picture of abiding love until her death in September, 2013.
In 1952, Mr. Parler accepted Christ as Savior, and in 1955 he followed God’s call into the ministry, making preparation for his life’s work at Omaha Baptist Bible College in Omaha, Nebraska. During his years of study, he held a student pastorate near Afton, Iowa, and later pastored churches in Loup City and Bellevue, Nebraska; Spearfish, South Dakota; and Volga, Iowa. In his 25 years of ministry in Volga, he, along with his wife, served as administrators and teachers at Wadena Christian Academy, as well as providing materials and support for many families who chose to homeschool their children.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Parler was preceded in death by his parents, one sister, four brothers, and his eldest daughter, Sybil Maree (Penny) West. He leaves to celebrate his life, cherish his memory, and pass on his grace, love, and compassion for others, his children Becky (Alan) Knowles of Pensacola, Florida, Rhoda (Frank) Burgin of Wadena, Esther (Randy) Bartels of Oelwein, and John (Ana) Parler of Merritt Island, Florida; twenty-four grandchildren; fifty-one great-grandchildren; a sister, Mary Ruth McIver of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; two sisters-in-law, Sarah Ann (Shebby) Parler of Monroe, North Carolina and Betty Edmonds of Orangeburg, South Carolina; and many nieces and nephews.
We love you, Daddy! Goodnight—not goodbye! We’ll see you in the morning!

A visitation was held Wednesday, August 1, 2018, from 5-8 p.m. at Stanley Union Church, Stanley, Iowa, and for one hour before services at the church on Thursday. Funeral services were held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, August 2, 2018, at Stanley Union Church, Stanley, Iowa, with Pastor Phil Rownd as the Officiant. Burial with military rites will be at 2 p.m. on Thursday, August 2, 2018, at Wadena Cemetery, Wadena, Iowa.
Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Elkader, Iowa, assisted the family with the arrangements.


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