Billy Glen Parkey, 87, was called home on April 16, 2023. In his own words, “It was time to saturate this place with some absence.” Glen was born in Floydada, TX on March 1, 1936, a twin and the youngest of 7 children to Dewey Jackson Parkey, (April 16, 1966) and Gladys Patrick Parkey, (March 1, 1936). Glen’s mother died giving birth to his twin sister and himself.
The Parkey family farmed in Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle and settled in Floyd County, TX where Glen attended Floydada High School, graduating in 1954. Upon graduation, Glen’s dad gave him $17 to hitchhike to the University of Texas in Austin. Needless to say, Dewey’s “orientation” program didn’t take, and Glen involuntarily enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he was stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany, for two years. Upon an honorable discharge, Glen put himself through West Texas State University, now WTAMU, where he majored in Business Administration, assisted in establishing the first Alpha Tau Omega fraternity on campus, and graduated in 1960. For his entire life, Glen was self-employed. His career began in life insurance, and he was one of Texas’ early Certified Financial Planners or CFP designees. This was followed by a long career in commercial real estate. He formed real estate development and management companies, including Sterling Properties. Glen’s companies were responsible for converting downtown’s old Fedway building into The Commerce Building, an office building now converted and occupied by WTAMU for their Harrington Academic Hall. Additionally, Glen developed the former Albertsons at I-40 and Washington, now home to Amarillo College’s technical education programs, and developed shopping centers in Amarillo, Borger, and other sites across Texas and Colorado.
Glen served as Mayor of Amarillo from 1987-1989. He served as the Chairman of WTAMU Foundation Board, the Children’s Learning Center, was a former president of the Amarillo Junior Chamber of Commerce, Amarillo Board of Economic Development and Amarillo Jaycees, and Chairman of the Board of the Amarillo Area Foundation. Glen was a catalyst for the revitalization of downtown Amarillo, and in 2006, Parkey was named Amarillo Globe-News Man of the Year. WTAMU alumni established a scholarship in Parkey’s name, and in 1998 the school inducted him into its Business Hall of Fame. Parkey dedicated his life to improving the quality of life in the Texas Panhandle. Nobody loved Amarillo more than Glen Parkey, who spent countless hours volunteering his time to improve his beloved city.
Glen’s top priority was always his family, and he loved spending quality time with his wife, kids, and grandkids. Glen and the family traveled together on many trips all over the US and Mexico. Glen had a fondness for Puerto Vallarta and Southern California and spent many weeks in both locations. He taught his kids how to ski, took them camping, canoeing, and fishing, and coached their Kids Inc. teams. He enjoyed Bible Study and Sunday service at First Presbyterian with friends and family. He had a zest for life, was an excellent joke teller, and will be remembered for his warm smile and giant hugs.
Glen was preceded in death by siblings Dewey, Patsy, Bernie, Jon, Peggy, and Gladys. Family survivors include Patricia Ann, “Pat” Parkey, his wife of 63 years, son Paul Parkey of Fort Worth, daughters April Sanchez and Brooke Box of Austin, grandchildren Cole Parkey, (Mallory) of Fort Worth, Sam Box, Nicholas Sanchez, and Dair Box, of Austin and great-grandson, Wilks Parkey, of Fort Worth.
Glen’s life will be celebrated on Thursday, April 27 at 2:00 pm at First Presbyterian Church of Amarillo. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Amarillo Area Foundation.
Glen’s family would like to thank the caretakers and nurses at Bivins Pointe, Ware First Baptist, and especially Lenox Archie, Rebecca Archie, and Lanny Shrubs for their loving care and assistance for the past eight years.