For forty years Jeff Parker was a mainstay of the bass section of the Off Sounders. Jeff never missed Spring Sing and rarely missed a rehearsal or performance. With a strong bass-baritone voice Jeff so memorably performed certain songs that they became his legacy in the Off Sounder repertoire, including notably “Saint James Infirmary “ where the entire group invariably would turn and gesture toward his loving wife, Pat Parker, as they sang the final lyric “standing Pat.” Jeff performed with the Off Sounders on the day he died as he stood in for a Christmas concert after he had retired from the group. Later that day Jeff peacefully passed away missed by all.
GREENWICH, Conn. — Jeff Parker, a Greenwich businessman and Mayflower descendant, died Dec. 22. He was 85.
Parker was raised in Grosse Point, Mich., and summered on the Great South Bay of Long Island, N.Y.
He was a member of the boys choir of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. He was schooled at Mount Hermon Prep, returning home to graduate from the University of Michigan. He spent his career in sales, working first in broadcast marketing, then with DMS, a division of McGraw-Hill in Greenwich.
He developed a love for equities in the 1950s and eventually joined Merrill Lynch as an account executive in the early 1970s. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of stocks. He went on to be a founder of the Greenwich branch of Merrill Lynch in 1974, retiring in 1998 after working with his son for the final three years.
He and his wife traveled worldwide after his retirement, often with the University Glee Club of New York City, of which he became a 50-year member in 2014. He belonged to five different singing groups, singing bass in the Off Sounders for over 40 years. Parker was a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Riverside, serving as a longtime chorister, warden, lector, and hamburg-flipper.
Parker is survived by Pat, his wife of 57 years; son Skip and wife Harriet of Riverside; daughters Laura and husband David Gray of Old Saybrook, Amy and husband Ray Donohoe of Stamford, and Wendy and husband Jean-Christian Fages of Annecy, France; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 9, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Riverside.