Attorney Charles J. Parker was a CBA vice president and president-elect nominee when he died (listed in 1979-1980 officers) on March 9, 1980. His obituary read that “The city of New Haven has lost one of its most dedicated public servants.”
A partner with Tyler Cooper Grant Bowerman & Keefe (New Haven), Attorney Parker was a graduate of Middlebury and Yale Law School. He was admitted to practice in New York in 1950 and in Connecticut in 1951. His volunteer work for the CBA and other legal associations included being chair of the Junior Bar Section (1954-1955), chair of the Probate Section (1964-1965), chair of the Estate Administration Committee (1970-1973), chair of the CBA Legal Aid Committee (1966-1969), chair of the ABA Public Interest Practice (1977-1979), and chair of the Legal Aid Committee (New Haven) (1955-1964). He served on the executive committee of the Yale Law School Alumni (1963-1964). He was director of National Legal Aid and Defender Association (1971-1980). He held the rank of Commander USNR (retired). He was the first recipient of the CBA’s “Legal Service Award” (on October 10, 1977), which noted in the citation that, in addition to the accomplishments listed above, he served as chair of the New Haven Municipal Legal Aid Commission. president of the New Haven Legal Assistance Association, member of the Project Committee of the Connecticut Welfare Department, and a member of the ABA Special Committee on Public Interest Practice.
At a Memorial Service, then mayor of New Haven, Richard C. Lee, characterized Attorney Parker: “He was, in truth, a man for his time, and whether it was politics or the law, the improvement of our park system, or the rights of those who needed financial or legal assistance, he gave freely and completely of himself. Charlie was a blessed man, who led a blessed life, and he helped so many, many people.”
Attorney William R. Murphy, a partner at Attorney Parker’s law firm, eulogized him: “Charlie was a person of great compassion. Whether dealing with a poor child in need of public assistance or an elderly widow entering a nursing home, Charlie conveyed to each person whose life he touched the message that he cared—because he did care.”
New Haven Mayor Biagio DiLieto stated, “He was a warm, considerate man, sensitive and attendant to the needs and aspirations of his fellow citizens and creative in meeting those needs.”
New Haven County Bar Association President Robert G. Oliver was quoted as saying, “Charles Parker was a moving force in bringing legal aid to our community…a gentleman in every sense of the word. He will be sorely missed.”
Upon receiving the Charles J. Parker Legal Services Award in 1982, James W. Cooper (Tyler Cooper Grant Bowerman & Keefe) honored Attorney Parker by saying, “Charlie was a wonder…displaying courage, dignity, imagination, perseverance, and tenacity. He epitomized everything I admire.”
The Charles J. Parker Legal Services Award was established in 1980.