Sumner Lee Parker

September 15, 1950 ~ September 18, 2018 (age 68)

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Age 68, of Ross Twp., gently passed away in the presence of his wife on September 18, 2018 at 1:28 a.m. and she held his hand as he took his last breath. The days immediately before his passing, several of his family members were able to visit with him and say goodbye including his beloved father. Sumner was a proud 1972 graduate of Colgate University with a degree in History. In 1973, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served as a military captain. He graduated with his Juris doctorate (University of Pittsburgh law school) in 1978 and began his legal career with the Marine Corps as a judge advocate. Following his honorable discharge from the USMC in 1986, he served briefly as an Allegheny County assistant district attorney and soon after began his 30-year career with the Allegheny County office of the public defender where over the years he passionately and vigilantly represented thousands of poor and indigent people until 2013. During the same period, he also maintained a successful private criminal defense law practice. Sumner zealously believed in and supported the guarantees of the United States Constitution and ensured to the best of his ability every individual he represented received a fair trial. At the age of 10 years old, he decided he wanted to be a lawyer after viewing a television program about a practicing attorney "who helped people," and he knew then that would be his future vocation. He never wavered from that goal. Throughout his tenure at the public defender's office, he generously volunteered his time to the newly graduated lawyers and was known to some of them as "Uncle Sumner." He was so dedicated to his clients' well-being that he would often visit them in jail on Thanksgiving and Christmas when he knew they would have no other holiday visitors. Many of his clients credit him with saving their lives. Over his 40-year career as an attorney, he handled over 10,000 defendants' cases and was known throughout the legal community as tough, hard-working, brilliant, and charming with an engaging wit. He is preceded in death by his mother, Jill Scott; and brother, Arthur Parker. He leaves behind his beloved wife of 15 years, Debra Holz; father, Sumner Parker  (his wife Frances Parker); daughter Tena Marguerite Parker; brothers  Robert Parker and sister-in-law Margaret Parker, Scott Francis Ingalls and sister-in-law Cindy Cummings, Jack Scott and sister-in-law Lori Scott; sisters Kelly Hopper, Cola Parker, and Francie Parker; Uncle Major Jack Francis Ingalls III, U.S. Marine Corps; nieces Ivey, Madison, Hillary, Meredith, Lindsey, Ella, Lucy, Jaime; nephews Rob, Chris, Tim, Matt, Willy, Ian, Isaac, and John Ingalls Scott, II. There will not be a public viewing or immediate service. If you wish to make a donation in memory of Sumner, please donate to The Wounded Warrior Project.

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