Rome has lost a great athlete, individual

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This past month, the city of Rome lost a great person and a super athlete with the passing of Kevin Parker.

Kevin had an infectious personality with a smile big enough to fill any room, and a heart big enough to love everyone around him. He made everyone around him better. He was an inspiration to anyone who knew him, especially to his family and mine.

Kevin was a huge part of my life. I started teaching and coaching him in the third grade at DeWitt-Clinton School. He grew to become an outstanding athlete as he was a member of Rome Free Academy’s 1973-74 C.O.L and Section III championship basketball team. Kevin also held a pair of Section III records for over 25 years — a 6’10 high jump and a 47’10-1/4” triple jump; both of them are still RFA outdoor records. And, Kevin set those records on cinder tracks and runways. 

We thank Kevin for his dedication and devotion to Rome athletics. He grew up where he heard “no” much more often than he heard “good job.” He had to strengthen his resolve, tenacity, perseverance, patience and other old-fashioned character virtues. It is an honor for me to be a fellow member of the Rome Sports Hall of Fame as Kevin was so deserving of his induction in 2012.

Kevin’s many coaches and teammates understand that K.P. was a difference-maker. He will undoubtedly be remembered as one of Rome’s all-time greats, but he should also be remembered as an athlete who loved to play, who was enthusiastic in whatever he did; he should be remembered as a wonderful husband to his wife, Chris, and a first class person to everyone he came in contact with both on and off the athletic field or court.

Our memories of Kevin will be with Mrs. E. and I forever.

— Coach Stan Evans, Rome

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