Gary Parker, mysterious St. Louis oil exec, is season's fifth person to die at Colorado ski resort

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Video, images below.
Yesterday at about this time, we told you about the fourth death at a Colorado resort during the current ski season -- a 46-year-old man who died after crashing into a tree at Keystone. Little did we know at the time that a fifth skier had also lost his life: Gary R. Parker, a 64-year-old St. Louis area oil tycoon so publicity-shy that no photos of him are available. Just as curious: News of Parker's death, at Beaver Creek, wasn't released until days after the fact, and then only after the persistent efforts of a St. Louis journalist. Details, images and a video below.

The reporter in question -- Michael D. Sorkin of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch -- contacted yours truly yesterday afternoon upon hearing about Parker's demise at a Colorado ski area. Only later did he learn the accident had taken place at Beaver Creek -- and it took multiple messages from the Post-Dispatch and Westword to prompt an official release from Beaver Creek spokeswoman Jen Brown.

Oddly, though, the release doesn't use Parker's name and fails to definitely say that he died.

The statement refers to an "incident" on the lower Larkspur Bowl, a run captured in the following video.

At 11:08 a.m. on Friday, February 7, Beaver Creek ski patrol responded to a report of an unresponsive skier, the release goes on -- and after being provided with medical treatment at the scene, the Missouri man was transported first to a hospital in Vail, and then to Swedish Medical Center in Denver.

Following this information is a line that reads, "Beaver Creek Resort, Beaver Creek Ski Patrol and the Vail Resorts family extend their deepest sympathy and support to the family and friends of the man." But rather than saying where and when he perished, Brown points the media to "the appropriate medical facility."

In the meantime, Sorkin managed to confirm Parker's death with Eagle County coroner Kara Bettis (who has not responded to a Westword interview request at this writing), but not the time or cause of death, since he passed away in Denver. Thus far, we have not been able to get additional specifics, either, although Parker's online obituary notes that he was "fortified with the Sacraments of Holy Mother Church on Saturday, February 8, 2014."

As for Parker himself, he was one of the powers behind Center Ethanol Co., listed as one of St. Louis' five largest privately held companies in a 2010 Post-Dispatch piece. Here's the Parker bio on the site, which runs underneath the accompanying graphic:

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Founder/Key Investor Gary's career in the oil industry spans some thirty-five years. He is currently CEO of G.P. & W., Inc. (founded in 1986) which does business as Center Oil Company and Center Marketing Company (collectively "Center Oil"). Center Oil is an oil distribution company dealing in refined petroleum products with annual sales in excess of $4.8 billion. Gary also controls interests in numerous petroleum storage terminal companies. He also has significant investments in and sits on the Board of Directors of Reliance Bancshares, Inc. and publicly traded World Point Terminals. Prior to his ownership of Center Oil, Gary was Executive Vice President in charge of light oil operations for Apex Oil Company and its subsidiary, Clark Oil and Refining Corporation. Prior to Apex, Gary began his career in the industry at Koch Industries.
Koch Industires, as you know, is the mammoth Wichita, Kansas concern run by the Koch brothers, Charles and David, who are well known for funding conservative politicians and causes.

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Tellingly, there's no photo of Parker alongside this blurb -- and that's the case with a recent Forbes profile, as well. In the spot where photos typically appear, the item is decorated with the generic silhouette seen here.

The most personal bit of writing about Parker we could find was in the aforementioned obituary. It reads in part:

Beloved husband of Karman Parker (nee Early) who he absolutely adored for 43 years. Dear son of Darlene Parker and the late Reid Parker. Dear father of Carolyn (Danny) Stevens, Amy (Brad) Haley, Laura (Christian) Sprich, Andrea (Tim) Puschaver, Adam Parker, and Craig (Shelley) Parker. Dear grandfather of Hannah, Parker, Connor, Eli, Zoe, Macy, Lily, Max, Emma, Gabby, Marla, Audrey, Charlie, Abi, Walker, and Hudson. Dear brother of Sharon Browning, Randy Parker, Deanna (Stephen) Saltouse, and the late Troy Parker. Dear uncle, cousin, and friend to many. Mr. Parker was the Founder and President of Center Oil Company. Services: Funeral Mass will be Thursday, February, 13, 10:00 a.m. at St. Clement of Rome Catholic Church, 1510 Bopp Rd, 63131. Interment private. Visitation will be Wednesday 2:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Bopp Chapel, 10610 Manchester Rd. in Kirkwood. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Camp Rhythm, One Children's Place, St. Louis, Mo. 63110-1077.
Our condolences to Parker's friends, family and loved ones.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our News archive circa February 10: "Videos: Keystone death marks fourth official ski-resort casualty of season."

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39 comments
whoop1995
whoop1995

For all of you idiots who do not have the decency to respect the mans family, I say fly to St Louis and make those comments in person to the family.  I knew the family and they were very kind generous people.  The man gave back to the community and never sought attention for it.  I am willing to bet the each and everyone one of you earth lovers contribute to the decline of our environment.  If you hate oil so much, take your evil energy and create alternative fuels.  This man started from scratch and made a name for himself.  All you do is sit behind a computer and pretend you care about the earth.  You have no idea what it takes to make a difference.  Stop driving on petroleum based asphalt roads, stop shopping at places that take delivery from gas powered vehicles,  If you own a car, stop driving it.  Even your electric cars were made using petroleum products.


Until someone finds a substitute, we will continue to rely on oil or let the world come to a complete halt.

Daniel Nicholson
Daniel Nicholson

Oh my... I think he mistook this for a post about the olympics. Or the bot or intern he gave access, more likely. That's... wow. Granted, even if it's not intentionally crass, that's still a level of incompetence that should bar one from important elected posts. I want my elected officials to read things before putting their name on them.

Sterling Meeks
Sterling Meeks

Then you clearly do not understand the meaning of the term Darwinism.....pathetic DWEEB.

Sterling Meeks
Sterling Meeks

Oh dear...another pseudo-leftist Lamebook DWEEB spouting off irrelevant gibberish in order to pad his "liberal" cred.

Eric Drown
Eric Drown

Oh but god bless the genocide committing, mass murdering, class dividing and oppressive USSA!! ha what a joke.. you guys act to be such stand up citizens yet i bet you can't even look yourself in the mirror without being disgusted with what you see..

Eric Drown
Eric Drown

and sterling we are all transplants you a-hole.. genocide committing transplants..

Eric Drown
Eric Drown

clearly by the likes and other comments I am not the only who feels the way I do.. maybe you can blame this shitty country for the moral lessons I have learned through great propaganda filled information sources such as TV and the schooling institutions.. yeah pick your battles because you are not going to win this one.

heidimather
heidimather

Eric Drown... I hope you drown in the bullshit that is coming out of your mouth so you can never comment about anyone you don't know about ever again.


Gary was the most generous person with not only his money but with his time. He might have even wasted some of his precious time with you if he had a spare minute. But then again he was good at seeing through people's bullshit and would have spotted your bullshit from a mile away.


Simply put.... Go and fuck your self!

heidimather
heidimather

Eric Drown... I hope u drown in the bullshit that is coming out of your mouth right now.


Do not comment about someone you do not know.


Gary Parker was the most generous person I have ever met, with his time and money. He might have even 'wasted' some of his precious time talking with you if he had a spare minute.

He was good at spotting bullshit and would have seen yours from a mile away. I feel sorry for your family and any friends you might have. With such a closed mind you probably don't have any friends.


What a loser, go back into the little hole you came out of!

heidimather
heidimather

Eric Drown... I hope you drown in the bullshit that is coming out of your mouth so you can never comment about anyone you don't know about ever again.


Gary was the most generous person with not only his money but with his time. He might have even wasted some of his precious time with you if he had a spare minute. But then again he was good at seeing through people's bullshit and would have spotted your bullshit from a mile away.


Simply put.... Go and fuck your self!

Sterling Meeks
Sterling Meeks

"People keep telling me how wonderful Colorado is, and I keep seeing people say things like this. Insensitive and rude." DWEEBY transplants. That is all.

Stephanie McCutcheon
Stephanie McCutcheon

So are you saying there's not a "green" lobby? And WTF was Solyndra all about? That sure furthered your cause, Eric. Oil is part of the fabric of society, so if you're against it, go climb under a rock in the middle of nowhere and live happily ever after...

Stephanie McCutcheon
Stephanie McCutcheon

Kyla, plz don't judge Colorado from comments by these hypocritical morons...

Kyla Cangemi
Kyla Cangemi

My thoughts are with the family. I know that's a useless thing in practice, but respect for the dead was something I grew up with. It's interesting that there are no public photos of him, making him likely an even bigger target of people who want to dehumanize him -- it's easy to dehumanize someone who doesn't have a face in a world where your selfies are how people connect you to your personality.

Kyla Cangemi
Kyla Cangemi

What a classless comment. People keep telling me how wonderful Colorado is, and I keep seeing people say things like this. Insensitive and rude.

DarlingCR
DarlingCR

I'm sure these "insensitive" comments would not even hold a spark to the insensitivities of Parker's business dealings, interests, and motives... We all know (those who work in corporate america) that these level of execs, especially in this industry, got there by not having any remorse or sympathy... Therefore, let the negative or positive comments continue to come as this man most likely would have cared less... Cuz that's what sociopaths do. 

Eric Drown
Eric Drown

And Steve all this due to the lack of progression in the manufacturing sector right? We are at the mercy of the market as to what is feizable for purchase.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 "fortified with the Sacraments of Holy Mother Church"


WTF ??

Eric Drown
Eric Drown

And Barbara what is the difference in promoting my agenda through the death of one individual compared to the USSA promoting their agenda through the death, persecution and oppression of millions on a daily basis?!?

Eric Drown
Eric Drown

I know he's an oil guy.. I made the conscious decision to never work for such companies as Exxon-mobile, Halliburton, etc.. Everyone can choose their career path and morally I find it wrong to choose such a path. U could probably question the morality of my statement but as soon as the westword decides to report on how moral my judgement is I will take the criticism as it may come. And so to this story I say Darwinism and karma? I think so!

Jessica Suderman
Jessica Suderman

Can someone please delete these crass, disgusting comments? How dare you speak of someone like that? You have no idea what kind of man he is.

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

^ = lmao. bought anything at a store that got there without a truck using gasoline? probably not. so, stfu.

Barbara Schmitt Lindvall
Barbara Schmitt Lindvall

Wow, these comments disgust me. My heart goes out to the family. I know this kind, generous family and it pains me that ignorant people would say such things about a death to promote their social agenda.

Ellen Zuckerman
Ellen Zuckerman

Wow. A report of a person's death is ALWAYS the right place to look for votes. (sarcasm) Are you effin' kidding me? And people wonder why politicians get such bad press. There is such thing as appropriate time and place...and this is neither the time nor the place. You definitely do NOT have my vote.

Glen Kelley
Glen Kelley

Send the house,congress and K street on a skiing trip.

Eric Drown
Eric Drown

YAY!! one less greedy oil fuck!! this may sound heartless but for all of us who care about the future of our planet and the spread of green information and not the mindless lobbyist driven, environment destroying corporations i say yaaaayyyyyy!!

stanley1
stanley1

You're right....you should probably just go ahead and off yourself to make things right.

stanley1
stanley1

Why are you still here? I'm sure there are plenty of 3rd world countries clamoring for shitty DJ's in Che Guevara garb.

stanley1
stanley1

But then he couldn't spread the gospel of his insanely terrible DJ mixes....much less have a chance at winning the white BMW that he posted on his facebook wall. This fuckbag truly is a case study in lib idiocy.

stanley1
stanley1

If that's the case, hopefully it will do the same to you soon-maybe as you're driving your car or heating your house. Fucking idiot.

stanley1
stanley1

Why haven't you made the decision to leave this "evil" country, you fucking pussy-ass punk? Have you made the decision to stop driving vehicles, heating your house, too, dumbass?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Koch Industries = Satan's workshop

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Koch brothers = Pure Evil

stanley1
stanley1

So is your ugly-ass wife, you moronic fucking hypocrite.

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