Edgar Parker, D.D.S. was born August 16, 1936. He was the 2nd of five children born to Mrs. Rosa Bell Parker and Mr. Walter Parker of West Point, Georgia.
After graduating from 10th Street High School in West Point, Georgia he received a full-tuition scholarship to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a 1960 biology graduate of Morehouse College and a 1966 graduate of Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry in Nashville, Tennessee.
After dental school graduation, Dr. Parker served in the U.S. Army at Fort Riley, Kansas. There he met the distinguished son of Albany, Lt. Col. Dr. Walter Carl Gordon, Jr. Dr. Gordon’s vision of returning to Albany and recruiting an accompanying force of black medical professionals sparked an invitation to Dr. Parker. So, in 1968, instead of settling in Atlanta as planned, he instead joined Dr. Gordon in Albany. Later, in 1970, Dr. Gordon recruited Dr. James Hubbard. This trio resulted in the construction of a shared professional building, the GOHUPAD CLINIC. (This building was later sold to Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, and then became the Miriam Worthy Women’s Health Center, and is now part of Albany Area Primary Health Care). The construction of GOHUPAD CLINIC was hampered by the refusal of a local bank to provide financing. The group, however, was able to secure an SBA loan through the kind assistance of Senator Herman Talmadge and his able-bodied assistant, Mr. Curtis Atkinson. Later, the trio was instrumental in recruiting Dr. Gregg Parker (OB/GYN and brother of Dr. Edgar Parker), Dr. Charlie Humphries (OB/GYN), and Dr. Willie Adams (OB/GYN). This influx of black practitioners coupled with the admission of Dr. Jacob Shirley to the staff of Phoebe Putney in 1965, caused a paradigm shift in healthcare for the black populace.
Dr. Parker was the first dentist of color south of Macon to have membership to the American Dental Association, Georgia Dental Association, and Southwest Georgia Dental Association (1968). He’s also a member of the National Dental Association and the Georgia Dental Society. For many years, Dr. Parker was the major provider of dental care for the underserved in Albany and its five surrounding counties following fellow dentists, Dr. J. P. Cheevers and Dr. Ed Hamilton. He served the Urban League program, the Head Start program, and the Medicaid program. In 2010, Dr. Parker was recognized for his years of service by the Georgia Dental Society, North Georgia Division. Dr. Parker retired from the practice of dentistry in 2015, after 50 years of service.
Dr. Parker married his beloved wife, Mona, in 1965 and is the father of two sons, Edgar, Jr. (wife, Agatha) of Bayonne, New Jersey, and Phillip Todd Parker of Orlando, Florida. He has one granddaughter, Briana of Atlanta, Georgia. He was a member of Hines Memorial CME Church, a member of the Criterion Club, and a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. Dr. Parker was among 7 Georgia dentists recognized by the North Georgia division of the Georgia Dental Society at the 2010 inaugural annual Trailblazers for Dentistry award at the “Bridging the Gap Luncheon” in Atlanta.
He is survived by his brothers, Mr. Pearson Parker (Bernice) of Alexandria, Virginia, Dr. Gregg Parker (Merita) of Savannah, Georgia; sister, Mrs. Emily Reed of Honolulu, Hawaii; cousins, Dr. Carlos Wise (Desonuia) of Columbus, Georgia, Mrs. Terry W. Bonner of Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Charles King, Jr. (Angelica) of Albany, Georgia, Mr. Corbin King of Albany, Georgia; nieces, Atty. Monica Parker of Savannah, Georgia, Dr. Susie Goolsby (Jack) of Alexandria, Virginia, Tara Bell (Alford) of Washington DC, Samone Brooks (Ernest) of Jackson Tennessee, Saundra Polk of Memphis, Tennessee; nephews, Pearson Parker, Jr. (Darnella) of Alexandria, Virginia, Dr. Bernard Willis Parker (Cynthia) of Alexandria, Virginia, Walter Parker (Alyssa) of Santa Rosa, California, Parke Parker of Savannah, Georgia, Dr. Samuel C. Polk III (Elise) of Memphis, Tennessee, Atty. William B. Kelley, Jr. of Memphis, Tennessee, Justin Brooks and Damon Brooks of Sunnyvale, California; brothers-in-law, Samuel Polk of Memphis, Tennessee, and Phillip Brooks, Jr. of Sunnyvale California, and many other relatives and friends.
On Wednesday, January 12, 2022, Dr. Parker was called from labor to eternal rest at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.