SOUTH PORTLAND — Ralph Sydney Parker, 72, of South Portland, died Saturday after battling a short illness, surrounded by his family.

Parker was born Jan. 20, 1941, in Berlin, N.H., and grew up on Long and Peaks islands. He attended Portland High School and was a member of the U.S. Air Force.

He worked for 22 years at Health Tex Manufacturing on Canco Road in Portland. He then worked for J.J. Nissen Bakery for 17 years until he retired in 2004.

Parker was an avid sportsman who had a passion for fishing, hunting, boating and gardening.

Parker was predeceased by mother and father Charles M. and Margaret G. Parker, of Westbrook, brother Frederick, of Texas, and sister Genevieve M. Philippo, of Portland.

Surviving siblings are his brother Francis, of Connecticut; sister Shelly and her husband Walter Barrett, of Massachusetts; sister Lynda and her husband Fred Muccino, of Florida; brother Donald and his wife Beverley, of Scarborough; brother Lawrence, of Arizona; and sister Sue Ellen Brady, of Portland. He leaves behind five children, Darren Parker, of Portland, Darlene Parker, of Westbrook, Sherri Parker-Stromsky and her husband Stevan, of Scarborough, Jennifer Davis and her husband David, of South Portland, and Amanda Parker, of Westbrook; and eight grandchildren, Taylor, Aleah, Gabby, Alexa, Zach, Seth, Dominick and Olivia. His family will miss his beautiful smile, the twinkle in his eye and his sweet sense of humor.

A memorial service was held Thursday at A.T. Hutchins Funeral and Cremation Services in Portland. Interment with military honors will be Friday at noon, at the Southern Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 83 Stanley Road, Springvale.

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