William Parker III


The Reverend William Albert Parker III ’68 passed away peacefully at the age of 76 on September 24, 2021, at Bethany House in Auburn. He was a wonderful husband to Linda, a loving father, grandfather, brother, and friend.

Bill was born in Birmingham, Alabama on February 11, 1945, to William A. Parker, Jr. and Arzola Johnson Parker. He graduated from Ensley High School, Anderson University (BA), Georgia State University (MS), and attended Candler School of Theology.

Bill was a man of many gifts and talents. However, he was uncomfortable speaking of them. So, we will speak of them now. His career began as an administrator for an extended care/nursing home facility and encompassed many turns along the way. His career included working for the Georgia Office on Aging, Project Focus (now known as the Area Agencies on Aging), and AARP in its early years.

The one common theme in all Bill endeavored to do was service. His humble and gentle spirit was a dynamic part of his ministry. Though he had many fulfilling roles along the way, nothing suited him better than serving as hospice chaplain for Chattahoochee Hospice — a position he actually held part time in the late 1980s and came back to from 2007 until his retirement. Bill also served as pastor of many churches in the area. He was pastor of Oak Bowery United Methodist Church until his death. 

In 1994, Bill married Linda Ray Batson and his life was complete. Anyone who knows Bill and Linda knows how close they are as a couple. If you were ever with Bill when Linda called, as he hung up, he would look at the phone and exclaim, “God, I love that woman!” Motorcycles, camping, and any outdoor activity with Linda were his favorite pastimes.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, William A. Parker, Jr. and Arzola Johnson Parker; his daughter, Kristin Parker; and his brother, Bob. He is survived by his wife, Linda; his son Chris (Jennifer) Parker; daughter, Penelope (Jimmy) Strater; Bill’s bonus children, Jenny Batson and Jeff Batson; grandchildren, Meredith and Zoe Parker, Thomas and Melinda Strater; sister in law, Sharon; nephew, Terry (Kathy) Parker; and nieces, Connie (Robert) Poteete and Cathy (Sam) Byrd.

Anderson University is on a mission to educate students for lives of faith and service, offering more than 60 undergraduate majors, 30 three-year degrees, 20 NCAA Division III intercollegiate sports, alongside adult and graduate programs. The private, liberal arts institution is fully accredited and recognized among top colleges for its business, computer science, cybersecurity, dance, engineering, nursing, and teacher education programs. Anderson University was established in 1917 in Anderson, Indiana, by the Church of God.