Mourning continues today for George Parker Jr., the Nandua High School principal who died Thursday from brain cancer.
His death was confirmed by Cooper and Humbles Funeral Co. in Accomac. Funeral services should be finalized by Monday afternoon.
Parker, 54, became principal at Nandua to begin in the 2015 school year. He previously served nine years as an assistant principal in Accomack County.
Earlier this month hundreds attended a prayer vigil at Nandua High for Parker, who died after a lengthy hospital stay.
Parker was known as energetic and considerate, using unfailing politeness and a commanding presence to draw respect from students.
He was a third-degree black belt in martial arts and was attending medical school when illnesses to his father, and then his mother, led him home to pursue a career in education on the Eastern Shore.
“I started to accept the fact that my life was being laid out for me,” he said in a 2017 story in “Cooperative Living,” the A&N Electric Cooperative monthly publication.
“I decided that teaching was where I was meant to be.”
Before working in Accomack County, he taught adult literacy at Eastern Correctional Institute in Princess Anne., Md., one the largest prisons in the country.
He earned master’s degrees at Old Dominion and Salisbury universities. He frequently could be found working out at the Eastern Shore Family YMCA in Onley, usually taking some time to help young people there.
Parker grew up in Accomack County and remained dedicated to its students. After the 2017 “Cooperative Living” interview, he said he received five telephone calls from other school districts in an attempt to lure him away from the Eastern Shore.
Fortunately, he stayed.
“I love what I do,” he said in an interview afterward.