James Parker

Obituary of James Edward Parker

James Edward Parker, age 37, of Minneapolis passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on January 20, 2022 from diabetic ketoacidosis, an acute and deadly medical condition that quickly developed because James had undiagnosed adult-onset Type 1 diabetes. James was born November 7, 1984 to Margery Kathryn Otto and Bruce James Parker in Minneapolis. He grew up in Edina and graduated from Edina High School. He played clarinet in the school band and was a member of the Edina Rugby Club. James graduated from the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities Campus) with Bachelor's Degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science (Summa Cum Laude), followed by Masters and Doctoral degrees in Computer Science. Post-graduation, James continued his life-long passion for teaching and mentoring as a lecturer in the University's Computer Science Department, providing individual encouragement and tutoring for peers, students, and anyone who was curious. During childhood, James' nickname given to him by his brothers and cousins was "Gamer" - a bit of a play on his first name. The name was prophetic as James' favorite pastime became video gaming with his on-line friends and teaching computer science as his profession. Outside of teaching, mentoring, and gaming, James spent the remainder of his time with his family and close friends. He loved being an uncle and playing with his nephews and niece, bantering with his brothers and cousins, and visiting his grandparents, aunts and cousins. James never missed the annual Otto family reunion on the shores of Lake Michigan. James was extremely self-reliant, always patient, unassuming, and attentive to the needs of others. He was steadfast and, when he made a decision, he stuck to it, whether it was becoming a vegetarian at an early age or having a minimalist lifestyle - using a bus, bike or his feet as transportation and living alone in a studio apartment. James's quiet empathy and care also extended to the animals that were also his loved companions. James was always there when you needed him, listened without judgement, and generously gave of his time and self. All who knew you, James, will miss you dearly. James was preceded in death by his loving mother, Margery Kathryn Otto; grandparents, Ginny & Jim Parker and Ed & Dixie Otto and Ed's second wife, Mary (Sims); also his beloved cat of 20 years, King of the World. He is survived by his father and step-mother, Bruce and Anne Parker; brothers, Richard (Claire), Davis (Kristin) Parker, and Rodney Sheppard; sister, Jenny (Brent) Cahill; aunts, Carol Parker, Margaret Otto, Martha Richards; cousins, Elissa (Scott) Swartz, Grace Miller, Sam Miller, Devann (Phil) Bodell, Brendan Ard, Allison Ard, William Ard and Sam Morrison; many nephews and nieces including, Ezra and Cora Parker, Blaise and Maverick Cahill, and Tessa Bodell; also his best friend since first grade, Dane Kuiper. A celebration of James' life will be held on Saturday, February 12, 2022, at the Willwersheid Funeral Home, 1167 Grand Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota (651-266-1006). Visitation begins at 2 pm followed by a time to share memories and stories of James at 3:30 pm. All who knew James are welcome. Refreshments will be served during the visitation. Donations may be made to the University of Minnesota for a scholarship fund in James' name at https://z.umn.edu/JamesParkerMemorialScholarship and please specify that the donation is in the memory of James Parker. James’ Memorial Service will be live streamed on our Facebook page (Willwerscheid Funeral Home) starting at 3:30pm. Please do not open our page before 3:30pm or you may not be able to see the live Stream. A celebration of James' life will be held on Saturday, February 12, 2022, at the Willwersheid Funeral Home, 1167 Grand Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota. Visitation begins at 2 pm followed by a time to share memories and stories of James at 3:30 pm.
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