Larry Thomas Parker
Larry Thomas Parker, 71, of Providence Forge, Virginia, and formerly of Shreveport, Louisiana, departed this earth on July 21, 2020.
Larry graduated from Fair Park High School in 1967 where he played football and baseball, and was the “Big Indian” during his senior year. He attended Louisiana Tech University and went on to graduate from Ocean Tech in Fort Walton Walton Beach, Florida, as an outstanding graduate as an Open Water Scuba Instructor with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).
Larry was currently a special duty and city marshal for Bossier City, Louisiana. Diving was his true passion as he learned to dive in Cross Lake at 14 and never looked back. In addition to PADI, Larry also belonged to the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI). He retired from NAUI after 30 years as Instructor Trainer Emeritus.
One of the highlights of Larry’s life was training President Jimmy Carter, his wife, and his daughter to scuba dive. He also dove with Harrison Ford on the set of the movie Mosquito Coast, and served coffee to Jimmy Buffett and Jerry Jeff Walker at his dive shop at 2 a.m. on the morning. Larry even dove into the Bermuda Triangle on Friday the 13th, saying that “They pay me to do this?”
He had many jobs and being in the water over the years. He was a manager and instructor at Adventure Sports in Shreveport, taught offshore survival training in Scotland and Colombia with MacGregor Offshore, and was owner, CEO, manager, and instructor of Dolphin Dive Shop in Lafayette, Louisiana.
His greatest professional accomplishment was as owner, CEO, manager, and instructor/course director of Reef Divers LTD in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize C.A. for more than 20 years. He was appointed as the International Liaison between NAUI and the Department of Tourism for the countries of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Colombia, and Panama. Larry trained thousands of recreational divers from his international career. He worked tirelessly for the protection of the marine environment, ecotourism, improving diver education, and promoting professional leadership training. He is respected, loved, and admired for his contribution to the promostion of San Pedro, and his name is synonymous with diving in Belize.
Upon his return to the states, he was the manager of contractor sales at Home Depot in Tigard, Oregon, and Bossier City. He was the COO, swim and scuba instructor at the Swim Schools of Shrevport/Bossier City. He more recently volunteers with an organization called Nova’s Heart in Shreveport, which aimed to help pets of those in crisis by furnishing them with food, shots, and medicine at no charge prior to retiring in 2018.
In addition to diving and teacher, Larry loved everything LSU, New Orleans Saints, fishing, boating, and any activity involving the water, and of course, rum. He loved to cook seafood gumbo as well.
Larry was a kind and gentle soul who was loved by everyone and never met a stranger. He was the first one to come to the aid of others and always had a wild story to tell, especially when it came to his diving experiences. He was the anchor to his loved ones’ lives.
Larry was preceded in death by his parents, James Walker Parker and Melba Galbraith Parker; his brother, James Robert Parker; and his father-in-law, Anthony J. Rinaudo.
He is survived by his wife and forever dive buddy, Jeanne Rinaudo Parker (who always dove at his right side); aunt, Bobbie Canterbury of Springhill, Louisiana; three sisters, Lynda Matthews (Carl) of Shreveport, Patti Fuller (Don) of Bossier City, and Jan McDonald (Roger) of Weatherford, Texas; mother-in-law, Nancy Rinaudo; brother and sister in-laws, Dan Rinaudo (Roi), Elaine Pool (Richard), Chris Rinaudo (Wanda), Pete Rinaudo (Dee), Andy Rinaudo (Brenda), Ann Benton (Ed), Celia Daugherty (Curtis), Barbara Parker (Jim), and Michelle Fuselier (Scott); best friend and longtime dive buddy, Barry Barefield; mentor, Paul Oberle Sr.; his teachers and staff of Adventure Sports, his beloved black lab Buddy, numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends from around the globe.
Larry lived his dream and created dreams for many of us by demanding we stayed focused, disciplined, and seeking of knowledge. His standards were high and he will live on in our hearts and memories.
There will be no service at this time. To honor Larry, turn on your favorite Caribbean song, put your toes in the sand somewhere, raise a glass with your special someone and toast the life of this exceptional man.