Cover photo for Leonard "Ceburn" Parker's Obituary
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Leonard "Ceburn" Parker

February 5, 1923 — January 16, 2020

Leonard "Ceburn" Parker

Leonard Ceburn Parker, 96, passed away peacefully on January 16, 2020 while surrounded by his loving family.

A celebration of Ceburn’s life will be held at 10 A.M. on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at Madisonville Funeral Home in Madisonville, Texas followed by his burial at Allphin Cemetery in Midway, Texas.

Ceburn was born on February 5, 1923 to Leonard Earl and Lilly May Parker in Grapeland, Texas.

At the age of 13, Ceburn was saved at Midway Methodist Church. In 1953 he was baptized at Normangee First Baptist Church and was later ordained as a deacon on March 14, 1965. He was currently a member of Elwood Baptist Church in Midway, Texas.

In 1944, Ceburn was drafted into the Army. He served in World War II where he was stationed in Italy and led mule packs into the mountains to deliver supplies to the soldiers. In 1946 he received an honorable discharge from the army.

Upon returning from the war, Ceburn moved home to live with his mom and dad and help them with their crops. It was there, that in Ceburn’s words “Boy oh Boy, that’s when I met the sweetest gal I ever saw”. He married the love of his life, Bonnie Kay Morrow, on June 21, 1947. They celebrated 71 years of marriage in 2018. He has been heard saying that marrying her was the best decision of his life.

Ceburn spent his career working for a grocery store, the telephone company, a chicken farm, and in 1963 went to work for the Texas Department of Corrections in Huntsville, Texas where he retired after 20 years of service. While working for the prison he taught prisoners how to garden and witnessed several historical events that occurred at the prison.

Gardening was one of Ceburn’s passions. He loved to share crops that he raised with family and friends. It was a passion that he shared both at home and in his career. In November 2019, at 96 years of age, he was still riding his tractors and plowing his garden. Ceburn loved to travel with friends after his retirement. His favorite place he visited was Yellowstone National Park. Later in life, he taught himself how to work on clocks and helped friends and family repair clocks of all kinds in his home. He was a lifelong rancher raising cattle and loved to share the passion with his son-in-law and grandson. He also loved to fish and host fish fry’s. He would tell you he made the best fried fish around. He loved to watch western movies and tv shows; his favorites were Gunsmoke and Walker Texas Ranger. He also loved to read Louis Lamar books.

Ceburn had a strong sense of faith that he shared with his family. He was a wonderful storyteller and could share memories from his childhood as if they had just happened. He had a great sense of humor and loved to laugh. He had an enormous love for his family both immediate and extended. He loved attending family reunions, having friends come to visit, joining friends for coffee at Fraley’s, and spending time with his church family.

Ceburn was preceded in death by his parents, Leonard Earl and Lilly May Parker, his wife, Bonnie Morrow Parker, brother, Nelson Parker, and brother-in-law, Wesley Pryor.

Ceburn is survived by his 2 children: Kay Parker Byrd (husband Raymond Byrd) and Joe Parker (wife Debbie Parker). Ceburn is also survived by 4 grandchildren and 1 step-grandchild: Dana Byrd Whitmire (husband Wayne Whitmire), Brian Byrd, Ashley Parker Graves (husband Michael Graves), Justin Parker, and Brandi Bobo (husband Kelsey Bobo). 4 great-grandchildren and 3 step-great-grandchildren: Hudson Whitmire, Grayson Whitmire, Genevieve Graves, Jon-Paul Graves, Isabella Harrington, Parker Harrington, and Kye Bobo. Ceburn is further survived by his sister, Reba Parker Pryor, sister-in-law, Ruth Parker, and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Elwood Baptist Church. PO Box 257, Midway, TX 75852.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Leonard "Ceburn" Parker, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Madisonville Funeral Home

, Madisonville, TX 77864

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