A former captain of the Southern Illinois University football team who earned two high school varsity letters and two varsity letters at SIU, Charles “Bud” Parker was one of the kingpins of the line of the Salem team that earned a H-l record in 1949 to gain the co-championship of the North Egypt Conference.
An all-state honorable mention in 1949, Parker helped anchor the middle of the Salem line with Bob Bishop, a 1989 Hall of Fame inductee, and Earl Justice.
Parker played football all four years at SIU and lettered with the varsity his junior and senior years. As a 5-9, 169-pound lineman, he was chosen the Salukis’ captain his senior year. Ironically, he teamed in the line with Ron Bishop, brother of Bob. Ron Bishop had graduated from Bridgeport High School after the family moved from the Salem area.
Parker majored in geology at SIU, but after graduation he was commissioned in the U.S. Marine Corps, rising to the rank of Lt. Colonel. First serving with the 2nd Marine Air Wing at Cherry Point, North Carolina, he also served with the 8th Marines at Camp Lejune, aboard the USS Essex, and at the Marine Recruiting Station at Buffalo, New York.
Following his graduation from Amphibious Warfare School, then a Major, Parker served as a field advisor with the Vietnamese Marines, returning in 1967. He was awarded the Navy Commendation for Achievement medal, the Bronze Star medal and a Gold Star medal in lieu of a second Bronze Star.
After two years as Commanding Officer, Marine Barracks, Kodiak, Alaska, he commanded the 1st Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment, Paris Island, South Carolina. From 1973-74 Parker served with the 3rd Marine Division as Commanding Officer, 2nd Battalion Ninth Marines and as Deputy G-4.
Lt. Col. Parker’s last assignment before retiring was at Quantico, Virginia, where for four years he was an instructor and head of the Strategy Division, Marine Corps , Command and Staff College.
Since retirement, he can be found in Big Timber, Montana, “hunting antelope, deer, and elk with bow and arrow or anything else handy.”