Former Nottingham Evening Post and Western Morning News editor Barrie Williams has added his tribute to Keith Parker, who died at the weekend after a long illness aged 69.
Williams told Press Gazette: “When I was a 16-year-old trainee reporter in Shrewsbury Keith Parker, at 19, was a sage and experienced senior journalist – at least, that’s what he used to tell me! He was, then, what he remained throughout the life which has now ended so prematurely: a man of many talents and excellent qualities; a helpful, considerate, unselfish and loyal friend; a funny man with a wicked sense of humour and a penchant for practical jokes.
“Keith’s exceptional career record speaks far more eloquently than I could about the extent of his professional achievements and the regional industry to which he was devoted should never forget his selfless and significant contribution but what I shall miss most of all is his great sense of fun, never better employed than in the wind-ups and piss-takes with which he would relieve the boredom at many a stuffy function. We’ve lost a big man and a good man.”
The funeral for the former Express and Star editor is to take place next Wednesday, from 2pm at St Michael & All Angels in Church Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton. It will be followed by committal at Telford Crematorium at 4.15pm.
There will be family flowers only at the funeral, but donations to Compton Hospice can be made c/o Harry Edwards & Sons, Funeral Directors, 1 High Street, Wellington, TF1 1JW.
Family and friends will gather at Park House Hotel, Shifnal, after the funeral from around 4:30pm.