Larry Thomas Parker, 71, of Providence Forge, VA., formerly of Shreveport, LA, departed this earth on July 21, 2020.
Larry Parker graduated from Fair Park High School in 1967, where he played football & baseball & was the “Big Indian” during his senior year. He attended Louisiana Tech University, and went on to graduate from Ocean Tech in Fort Walton Beach, FL as an outstanding graduate of his Open Water Scuba Instructor Course with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).
Larry was currently a Special Deputy and City Marshall for the city of Bossier City, LA.
Diving was his true passion. He learned to dive in Cross Lake at 14 and never looked back. In addition to PADI, he also belonged to the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI). He retired from NAUI after 30 years as Instructor Trainer Emeritus.
Larry trained President Jimmy Carter and his wife and daughter to scuba dive. He dove with Harrison Ford on the set of the movie Mosquito Coast, and served coffee to Jimmy Buffett and Jerry Jeff Walker at 2am on the dock of his dive shop. He even dove the Bermuda Triangle on Friday the 13th. He once said (of diving) “They pay me to do this?!”
He had many jobs related to diving and being in the water over the years. He was the Manager & one of the Instructors at Adventure Sports in Shreveport, LA for many years. He taught Offshore Survival Training in Scotland and Colombia with MacGregor Offshore. He was the Owner, CEO, Manager & Instructor of Dolphin Dive Shop in Lafayette, LA.
His greatest professional accomplishment was 20+ years as Owner, CEO, Manager & Instructor Trainer/Course Director of Reef Divers LTD in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize C.A. (Western Caribbean) where he was appointed as the International Liaison between NAUI and the Department of Tourism for the countries of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Colombia and Panama. He trained thousands of Recreational Divers from Open Water Divers thru Divemaster during his international career. He worked tirelessly for the protection of the marine environment, eco-tourism, improving diver education & promoting professional leadership training. Larry Parker’s name is synonymous with diving in Belize. He is respected, loved & admired for his contribution to the promotion of San Pedro.
Upon his return to the states, he was the Manager of Contractor Sales at the Home Depot in Tigard OR and Bossier City, LA. He was COO, Swim & Scuba Instructor at the Swim Schools of Shreveport /Bossier City, LA.
He more recently volunteered with an organization called Nova’s Heart in Shreveport, LA., which aimed to help the pets of those in crisis by furnishing them with food, shots and medicine at no charge.
He finally retired after moving to Virginia in 2018.
In addition to diving & teaching, Larry loved everything LSU, the New Orleans Saints, fishing, boating, and any activity involving the water (as long as it was warm, blue and salty), and of course, rum. He also loved to cook Seafood Gumbo.
Larry was a kind & gentle soul who was loved by everyone, and never met a stranger. He was the 1st one to come to the aid of others. He always had a wild story to tell, especially when it came to his experiences with diving. He was the anchor to his loved one’s lives.
Larry was preceded in death by his parents; James Walker Parker and Melba Galbraith Parker, his brother; James Robert Parker, and his father-in-law; Anthony J Rinaudo.
He is survived by his loving wife and forever dive buddy - Jeanne Rinaudo Parker (who always dove at his right side), his aunt; Bobbie Canterbury of Springhill, LA, three sisters; Lynda Matthews (Carl) of Shreveport, LA, Patti Fuller (Don) of Bossier City, LA., Jan McDonald (Roger) of Weatherford, TX, his sister-in-law Barbara Parker (Jim's wife), his mother-in-law; Nancy Rinaudo, brother & sister in-laws; Dan Rinaudo (Roi), Elaine Pool (Richard), Chris Rinaudo (Wanda), Pete Rinaudo (Dee), Andy Rinaudo (Brenda) , Anna Benton (Ed), Celia Daugherty (Curtis) , Michelle Fuselier (Scott). His best friend and longtime dive buddy is Barry Barefield. His mentor is Paul Oberle, Sr. & his teachers were the entire staff of Adventure Sports. His beloved black lab is Buddy. He bragged about his numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends around the globe & was everyone’s Parker, Bubba, Uncle Larry or Uncle Boogaloo (to name a few) to everybody.
There will be no service at this time, but to honor Larry, please, whenever possible, turn on your favorite Caribbean song, put your toes in the sand somewhere, raise a glass with your special someone and toast the life of this exceptional man.
“Larry lived his dream and created dreams for many of us by demanding we stayed focused, disciplined, and seeking of knowledge. His standards were high and he will live on in our hearts and memories”.
“On the ocean of life, let your mind be the ship and your heart be the compass.”
“We were his Anchors.”
“Although I am retired from teaching, sport diving is still the THRILL OF MY LIFE.”