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Former Del. Lewis Parker dies

SoVaNow.com / January 31, 2011
A former longtime member of the Virginia House of Delegates from Mecklenburg County died Saturday at St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond.

Lewis W. Parker, a South Hill Democrat who served in the Virginia House of Delegates for 21 years, had suffered with declining health over the past month. He was 82.

“He was a powerful figure in the House during his time,” said friend and political ally, Jack Hite of Clarksville. “He made some very important friends in the legislature over the years.”

Just recently, Parker had served as Grand Marshal of the annual South Hill Christmas Parade, but soon afterwards suffered a slight stroke, Hite said. He noted that Parker seemed to have recovered from that problem, but then experienced trouble with his kidneys and also suffered blot clots.

Parker was president of the family-owned Parker Oil Company in South Hill. He served in the state legislature from 1972 through 1993, representing Mecklenburg, Brunswick and Lunenburg counties before losing his seat to now-State Senator Frank Ruff.

In the Assembly, Parker rose to the chairmanship of the House Corporations, Insurance and Banking committee and joined other Southside legislators in gaining approval of the Superhighway 58 four-lane project in the 1990s.

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