Clifford Parker, who served in the Executive Office of the President under four U.S. presidents, died at home Aug. 9, 2019. He was 81.
Parker graduated from Cornell College in Iowa in 1959. While a graduate student at the University of Minnesota, he accepted an offer to join the White House staff in 1960 under President Dwight Eisenhower. He remained under presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and briefly under President Nixon with Donald Rumsfeld ’54 as head of the Office of Economic Opportunity.
From 1969 to 1970, he held an Institute of Public Affairs fellowship as a visiting student at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. He returned to Washington to work at the Department of Transportation before joining the Environmental Protection Agency and finishing his career in the Department of Commerce. In 1980, he was awarded the Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award.
Parker believed that government could make a positive difference in people’s lives. In retirement, he became a master gardener and volunteer at the U.S. Botanic Garden. In 2003, he and his wife, Tina, moved to Fort Myers South, where he remained an avid gardener and received his second master gardener certification for Florida.
Parker is survived by his wife, Tina; and his four children.
Graduate memorials are prepared by the APGA.