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Bike rack at Olympia City Hall honors late volunteer Jerry Parker

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A new bike rack in front of Olympia City Hall will pay tribute to Jerry Parker, a longtime community volunteer who died suddenly in August while on a bicycling trip.

An inscription on the red steel rack sums up the way many people remember him: “Honoring Jerry Parker for his tender heart and fierce intellect.”

Mayor Cheryl Selby will lead a dedication of the rack at 3 p.m. Friday (April 28) to kick off this year’s spring Arts Walk.

The rack is near the entrance to City Hall, 601 Fourth Ave. E., where Parker often locked his bicycle before going inside to work with the Olympia Planning Commission or the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

The project was funded by small donations and was spearheaded by Olympia residents Kim Andresen, Kris Goddard, Kris Tucker and Anna Schlecht.

Zeigler’s Welding crafted the rack, while the stonework and its inscription were created by Macy and Shane Jewell of Reflections Custom Etching.

Parker, a native of Portland, spent most of his adult life in Olympia. He was a retired environmental planner who had worked for the Department of Ecology. In the 1960s, he spent two years in Colombia with the Peace Corps.

Those who knew Parker describe him as a curious and tireless community advocate. He died Aug. 18 of a heart attack while riding his bicycle on Badger Pass in Montana.

He was 74.

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