It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear friend and colleague, James M. Parker, who left us on May 31, 2019.
Jim became part of the Modrall Sperling family in 1982 when his tax law firm merged with ours. Never has a business deal been such a blessing.
During his career, Jim loved helping family-owned businesses through generations. In 2015, he and his wife, Linda, founded the Parker Center for Family Business at the Anderson School at the University of New Mexico. He believed family-owned businesses were the foundation of New Mexico’s economy.
While his accolades include every major legal ranking organization, one of his proudest moments was being named to Oklahoma State University’s “100 for 100,” which recognized 100 graduates of OSU’s Spears School of Business on its 100th anniversary. Garth Brooks was also on the list. “I’m glad he made a name for himself in music,” Jim said in jest. “It would have been hard to follow in my shadow if he had gone into law.”
Even well into his 70s, Jim worked long hours. As he used to say on Friday afternoons, “only two more work days until Monday.” Over the past several years, he would announce periodically he was going to reduce his hours. “Time to slow down,” he would say. He never did, probably because Jim did not have clients; he had friends. And when a friend needed him, Jim stood ready to help. Perhaps it was the Oklahoma in him, but no matter how filled with deadlines and meetings his day was, he always had a friendly greeting and a smile for everyone.
Not only was he a great lawyer, he was also a devoted baseball coach. A longtime fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, he coached baseball for nearly 30 years. His teams included one from Albuquerque Academy on which Alex Bregman, who now plays for the World Series Champion Houston Astros, was a player. Jim’s love of America’s pastime was surpassed only by his love for his family. In addition to his wife of 52 years, he leaves behind sons Todd and Tyson, daughters-in-law Krista and Yvette, and grandchildren Lillian, Ella, and Miranda.
We will miss Jim’s sense of humor, his kindness and patience, and his fabulous collection of cowboy hats. His boots can never be filled.