Graveside services for Noah Parker will be held at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 3 at Diamond Head Memorial Park, according to his widow, Ellen Parker.
Noah, a colleague from the Honolulu Advertiser days, died last July 3 at age 80, possibly from complications due to his Merkel cell carcinoma diagnosis.
He was a product of Kalihi, attending Kalihi Waena Elementary School, Kalakaua Intermediate School, and Farrington High School.
Curiously, newspapering was part of life, from his early years. Unbeknown to many, Noah was a newspaper seller at 8 years old; he would hawk the Honolulu Advertiser on street corners, until he was 12.
In his late teens, he solicited subscriptions for circulation district managers on the Neighbor Islands and eventually became a part-time district manager for several years, until he earned a full-time position.
I met him when I was a reporter-columnist at the Advertiser, when circulation headquarters were still at the News Building at Kapiolani Boulevard and South Street.
He was a cordial, chatty sort, easy to befriend, and it was no surprise he served as district manager for more than 30 years. He eventually was promoted to the role of home delivery circulation for 10 more years, before he retired.
Because he resided in Hawaii Kai, where I also own a home, we had numerous off-hour conversations about the news biz, even following both our retirements.
One bonus for me — with an insider buddy in circulation who knew district managers even after his retirement — I was able to regularly receive a preview of the early-run entertainment section (remember those?) on Saturdays preceding the Sunday inclusion of The Advertiser.
Noah Parker discusses The Advertiser with kids during a school visit.
Frequently, Noah would ask about a local entertainer mentioned in my Show Biz column, and cordially provided extra copies to share with the subjects in the column. There wasn’t a performer he didn’t know.
Susan Lam Sinclair, who met Noah in 1986, was an Advertiser morning dispatcher, working a 3 to 7:30 a.m. shift for the circulation department, at the time he was district manager for Hawaii Kai. After her father died in January 1990, “Noah became my ‘office father’ or godfather, as some people called him,” said Lam Sinclair.
He recruited her to volunteer in his community projects (“I was Icee Bear one year in the Christmas parade”).
When she relocated to the mainland to enter a training program with the Veterans Administration, he encouraged her to pursue her career goals and advised her, “reach for the sky as high as you can go.”
The friendship continued for 36 years with her annual Hawaii visits, for a meal or two, not knowing that their April 10 get-together would be their last.
“He was my sounding board, lent an ear when I need someone to listen and always had a shoulder for me to cry on. He was a very giving man who often fed the homeless. Noah has touched many lives far and wide. He will be missed sorely by myself and many others.”
“He was more than just a husband and father,” said wife Ellen. “His generosity towards his family and numerous community endeavors was truly never ending.”
She said Noah always recited this quote, “service to humanity is the best work of life.”. For 25 years, Noah organized the Hawaii Kai Christmas Parade along Lunalilo Home Road, and also started up the Hawaii Kai Mountain Ball League and had a hand in the short-lived Hawaii Kai fireworks display at Maunaloa Bay.
Cha Thompson, longtime buddy of Noah, received regular phone calls from Noah, and they, too, established a keen friendship, with Cha joining Noah in organizing the Hawaii Kai fireworks show. She said of him, “If he were your friend, you could consider yourself a very lucky person. He would always be there if you needed a favor, but he never expected anything in return. He was everybody’s helper and was loved for it.”
She said they had lively discussions of things in the daily paper; “he would read the newspaper and have an opinion that you would either love or hate,” said Cha.
Noah was an orphan, born June 5, 1943, who ultimately met his birth mother when he was in his 20s. Perhaps his status of being parentless gave him the personality and outlook in his life as a teen and ultimately as an adult.
All his friends know he was a most resourceful soul with the zesty spirit to serve anyone anytime, particular in a moment of need; if you asked him “where is the best place to find such-and-such, he’d tell you he knows someone who has such-and-such, and would deliver the item a day or two later. That’s one of the traits I’ll never forget. …
Noah is survived by his wife of 60 years, daughter Denise Parker Hignight, son Dennis Parker and fiancee Tricia Ezawa, and Dappy Parker, constant companion and family dog. …
And that’s Show Biz. …