1. News

Former New Port Richey mayor remembered for community service, friendship

Former New Port Richey mayor and councilman Frank Parker, 72, died Sunday after a long illness. Courtesy Judy Parker
Published May 28, 2018

NEW PORT RICHEY — Frank Parker always wanted to give back, his wife Judy said.

The former New Port Richey mayor and councilman cared about his community and worked to make it a better place, she said.

Mr. Parker, 72, died early Sunday after a long illness. He was known for his dry sense of humor, his love of the outdoors and most of all, his passion for his community.

That passion led Mr. Parker to serve as mayor and city council member, and also as a Pasco County School Board member. He also served on numerous boards in the community, including for the Tampa Bay Water Authority and the PACE Center for Girls. He was a member of the New Port Richey Rotary for more than 40 years.

Throughout it all, Mr. Parker's willingness to do what he thought was right was evident, said Heather Fiorentino, former superintendent of Pasco County schools.

Fiorentino worked with Mr. Parker on the city council and on the school board. During those years, the board faced some of the biggest cuts it's ever had to make. Mr. Parker remained a strong leader, Fiorentino said. His goal was to minimize the negative effects on students or staff members.

"He was always making sure we were doing the right thing," Fiorentino said.

When things started to get too stressful, Mr. Parker knew how to lighten the mood, she said. He had a dry sense of humor, and his one-liners made everyone stop and laugh.

"His quick wit was something that nobody would forget," Fiorentino said.

Fiorentino said Mr. Parker didn't always vote with the crowd, but always did what he believed was right.

"He was a man of integrity," Fiorentino said. "That's rare to find in a politician."

Mr. Parker was an accountant. He merged practices with Michael Stone in 1987 to form Stone, Parker & Company.

Stone said his and Mr. Parker's lunchtime conversations revolved around what was going on in the community. Mr. Parker was proud to serve in the many roles he did, Stone said. He was proud of his city.

"He was concerned about New Port Richey and Pasco County," Stone said. "That was his motivation for wanting to serve."

Mr. Parker golfed every Saturday with a group of friends, and was always the scorekeeper, said his friend John Grey, a New Port Richey commercial Realtor.

Before they'd start, he went around to each cart and cut the erasers off the end of everyone's pencils, Grey said. That way they couldn't cheat.

"You gotta write it down one time only," Mr. Parker would say.

Of the many plaques he owned, his favorite was one Judy made for him: his "Hole in One" plaque. Mounted on it are his scorecard, the ball he hit and a cutout from an article published in the Tampa Bay Times with the headline, "Longest victory is on golf course."

Grey, who met Mr. Parker when he moved to Port Richey in the 1960s, also went with him on hunting and fishing trips across the country.

The first time Mr. Parker practiced hunting with a shot gun, he put his face too close as he shot, causing the gun to jump back and hit him in the eye, leaving him bleeding.

"He learned his lesson in a hurry," Grey said. "That was the last time that happened to him."

Most of all, Grey remembered Mr. Parker as loyal to a fault — something he brought with him when he served the community. He helped a friend if they needed it, and wouldn't tolerate anyone talking negatively about his friends.

"If you were his friend, you were his friend, no matter what," Grey said. "We'd all probably be better off if we had more people like that."

Mr. Parker was born in Clearwater.

He graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor's degree in accounting and served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.

He is survived by his wife, Judy Raynes Parker; daughters, Joi Nutting (Michael) and Amanda Parker; sister, Sophia Amorginos; grandsons, Jake, Jess and Jordan Nutting; and great-granddaughter, Quinn Nutting.


  1. Less than a month after being fired, former St. Petersburg Housing Authority CEO Tony Love wants the agency to give him a job running its development nonprofit at the same $157,000 salary. That offer, part of ongoing negotiations over his severance, was rejected by the agency's board.
    Tony Love’s attorney tells the agency that fired him he wants full salary and benefits through 2020. The board rejects his offer.
  2. John Jonchuck returned to a Pinellas County courtroom last month to attend a hearing about whether he was entitled to a new trial. A judge on Tuesday ruled that he is not. SCOTT KEELER  |   Times
    Jonchuck was convicted of first-degree murder in April. He dropped his 5-year-old daughter, Phoebe Jonchuck, off a bridge in 2015.
  3. Ralph Lewis Wald and wife Johnna Lynn Flores leave the Orient Road Jail on May 30, 2013, after Wald was acquitted in the fatal shooting of his wife's lover. [TIMES (2013)]  |  Tampa Bay Times
    An unidentified woman is found dead at their Brandon house. At the same time, the medical examiner confirms the wife has died.
  4. The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County identified a positive case of hepatitis A in a food service worker at Hamburger Mary's in Ybor City on Oct. 22, 2018. [JOSH FIALLO | Times] JOSH FIALLO | TIMES  |  JOSH FIALLO | Times
    Slightly more than 200,000 people have been vaccinated this year — a huge jump from the 49,324 people vaccinated in all of 2018.
  5. This satellite image shows Hurricane Michael on Oct. 9, 2018, as it enters the Gulf of Mexico. It made landfall near Mexico Beach in the Panhandle as a Category 5 storm. [Photo courtesy of NOAA] NOAA
    Nearly a year after the storm, 18,000 claims are still open.
  6. Falo Kane, 32, of Clearwater, faces four counts of sexual battery of a physically helpless person and a violation of probation charge, according to police. [CLEARWATER POLICE DEPARTMENT]  |  Clearwater Police Department
    There were four victims, police said. One was in a wheelchair and another was a disabled stroke patient. The accused wrote a letter of apology.
  7. An eighth-grade boy can be seen punching a seventh-grader in a locker room in this screenshot from a video taken inside a Polk County middle school. Twitter
    A black student was slammed to the floor and punched repeatedly by a white classmate following a physical education class last week at Blake Academy in Lakeland.
  8. Workers refuel the tank at a gas station in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019. U.S. President Donald Trump declared Monday that it "looks" like Iran was behind the explosive attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities. He stressed that military retaliation was not yet on the table in response to the strike against a key U.S. Mideast ally. AMR NABIL  |  AP
    Even before Tuesday’s reversal in prices, economists downplayed the prospect that the price spike could send the economy reeling.
  9. Watermans Crossing apartments at 4515 N. Rome Avenue in Tampa. Westside Capital Group
    Jakub Hejl discovered the Tampa Bay area while studying at IMG Academy.
  10. Greco Middle School in Temple Terrace has 183 more students this school year than last. Middle schools grew in enrollment this year, while elementary schools lost more than 1,200 students.  [Times | 2013]
    The 20 day count shows ever more crowding in southeast Hillsborough.