Mr. William Hugo Parkman of Palmetto, Georgia, died peacefully in his sleep at home early Tuesday morning, Nov. 20, 2012.
Hugo was dedicated to his wife, Doris, their family, and service to God. Hugo was the younger son and last survivor of the five children of William Henry and Stella Parkman. He is survived by his wife of sixty-six years, Doris McKoy Parkman; their six children, Dan Parkman (Nancy) of Leawood, Kansas, Susan Shillito (Bob) of St. Louis, Missouri, Henry Parkman (Diane) of Decatur, Georgia, Leslie Roe (Brian) of Herndon, Virginia, Laura Pfister (Carl) of Suwanee, Georgia, and Olivia Fordham (Rob) of Snellville, Georgia; fifteen grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. Two grandchildren preceded Hugo in death.
Hugo was born Dec. 11, 1919, in Langdale (n/k/a Valley), Alabama. Active in the Boy Scouts, Hugo attended the 1937 National Scout Jamboree in Washington, D.C. At the Jamboree, Hugo attended the fifth Major League Baseball All-Star game, where President Roosevelt threw out the first ball. Hugo received his Eagle Scout Badge in 1938, graduated from high school, then enrolled at Alabama Polytechnic Institute (n/k/a Auburn University), where he majored in business. In 1942, Hugo graduated from college and enlisted in the United States Navy. He served in the Seabees in the Solomon Islands, South Pacific. He then applied for and received a commission as Ensign. After attending Communications School at Harvard University, Hugo volunteered for submarine duty. He was ordered to report to the USS Finback, where Hugo served as communications officer.
Among other duties in the Pacific Ocean, the Finback submariners rescued American pilots shot down by Japanese aviators. One of these Navy pilots was George Bush, who later served his country in many roles, including Vice-President and president of the United States. One of Hugo’s greatest pleasures was the relationship he and President Bush developed years later and the memories they shared of the two weeks they spent together on the small submarine in the Pacific Ocean. Near the end of World War II, Hugo concluded his Navy service while on Admiral Nimitz’s staff at Pearl Harbor.
Hugo returned to Alabama and went into business, first developing a residential subdivision, then a motor hotel court on U.S. Highway 29, the main highway between Atlanta and Montgomery. Hugo’s sister, Hewlett, introduced him to her good friend Doris McKoy. Hugo and Doris quickly realized that they were meant for each other, fell in love, got married on Dec. 31, 1946, and started a home together in Langdale, Alabama.
Hugo became active in the Alabama Brotherhood and his interest in foreign missions grew. In 1956 Hugo visited the Baptist mission field for two weeks in Mexico, which made a big impression on him. Soon after, Hugo learned of service opportunities for men with business training and experience. He and Doris felt God’s calling and were then appointed to serve as foreign missionaries by the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board.
In December 1957, Hugo and his family moved to Manila, Philippines, where he assumed his new role as business manager of the Philippine Baptist Mission. His duties included acting as liaison between the Mission and the Philippine government, acting as purchasing agent for needs of missionaries, churches, the hospital and seminary, and handling travel arrangements for missionaries and official visitors. Soon after arriving in Manila, Hugo and Doris started a church in their home. That church grew and, 53 years later, is still thriving in the bank district in Makati, Philippines.
After acting as business manager in Manila for 25 years, Hugo completed his mission service as director of the Luzon Baptist Camp in Bataan, Philippines. In 1984, Hugo and Doris retired from their service as Baptist missionaries and moved to Decatur, Georgia, where they became active in the First Baptist Church of Decatur. They moved to Palmetto, Georgia, in 2005, and since then have been active in the Palmetto Baptist Church.
Viewing will be between 5 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 24 at the Parrott Funeral Home, 8355 Senoia Road, Fairburn, Georgia. A memorial service will be held at Palmetto Baptist Church on Sunday, Nov. 25, at 2 p.m. A graveside service will be held at 12:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 26 at the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, Georgia.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering through local Baptist churches or online at the International Mission Board website.
Those wishing may send an on-line condolence at www.parrottfuneralhome.com .
Parrott Funeral Home & Crematory, 770-964-4800