I received a letter yesterday from our friend, Edna Johnston. She reported the death of Wayne Parker on 25 December 2009. Wayne lived near Edna in Harrison, Michigan. The two of them were fixtures at Michigan Bluegrass festivals, especially Charlotte and Milan. Wayne and Edna were the only people we knew the first year we attended the Lewis Family Festival in Lincolnton, Georgia. They were there, camping, enjoying the music and the visiting.
In recent years Wayne used a walker, and needed oxygen, but through the summer of 2008, they were present at the Michigan festivals. In August, 2008, a rain shower came up on the Saturday night of the Milan festival, and several regulars at the show helped us pack up chairs, and other camping equipment for Wayne and Edna. We got him into the van just in time to keep him dry. It was evident then that his health was failing rapidly.
Last year, just before the Charlotte festival, Edna phoned me and asked if we would save them a place to camp near us, should they be able to come. She said she would need to drive right up to the stage, since Wayne couldn’t walk too far. We arranged to help them, but they never made it to Charlotte in 2009.
Wayne was a good one, and we will miss him.