Robert (“Bob”) S. Parker, 68, of Dryden, NY, passed away peacefully November 26, 2020. He was born in Newport, NH on May 21, 1952 to the late Richard and Robbie Mae Parker. He graduated from New London High School; earned his Bachelor of Science from Duke University and his Master of Science and Doctorate from Oregon State University. Bob was hired by Cornell University in 1980 as an assistant professor in the College of Human Ecology, Division of Nutritional Sciences (DNS), earning tenure and full professorship during his 38 years in DNS. His research centered on elucidating the metabolic pathways of Vitamin E and carotenoids. His scholarly contributions in both fields were significant; he developed novel analytical techniques which allowed him to investigate these pathways directly in humans as well as in animal models and cell culture, leading to groundbreaking discoveries to explain the differential metabolism of Vitamin E, the efficiency of carotenoid conversion to Vitamin A, and the bioavailability of these nutrients.
To exemplify his commitment to education, Bob was an integral member of the DNS administration until his retirement in 2018. As Director of Undergraduate Studies and Curriculum Committee Chair he shaped the undergraduate program and stewarded the Division to experience the success and progress it sees today. During his tenure he led the development of two critical majors, Human Biology Health and Society and Global and Public Health Sciences.
Bob dedicated his life to teaching and learning. He saw the value and opportunity in each of life’s moments to learn something new, or to share knowledge onto others. He taught others to value good science and always be empowered to do their own research to make their own conclusions. Bob knew how to use humor and dry wit to connect with people from all walks of life and to liven any conversation. His passion for learning undoubtedly contributed to his sense of curiosity and adventure. Bob was known to take the road less traveled, and often times, made his own road (or even ski slope). His respect and appreciation for nature influenced his passion for supporting local artisans and collecting unique mementos, textiles and artwork from his travels, both international and domestic.
Bob’s distinguished legacy will live on through his loving wife, Joy, children Emily and Wesley, siblings James Parker and Mary Parker, and his many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at Perkins Funeral Home, Dryden, NY on Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 3:00pm by the Rev. Dr. David Kaden, the family will receive friends from 2:00pm before the service. Online condolences at www.perkinsfh.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert Parker, please visit our floral store.