Former judge’s service on Saturday

Former district judge Joe Parker died Wednesday in Amarillo. Parker, who had battled with Parkinson's disease and Lewy Body disease, was 64.

Services are scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday at Central Baptist Church in Clovis.

Born May 27, 1948, in Levelland, Texas, Parker grew up in the Causey area, and graduated at the valedictorian from Causey High School in 1962.

He taught and coached basketball at Portales High School and Gallup High School in the 1960s and 1970s before moving to Kansas for law school at Washburn University.

Following time working in the Kansas Attorney General's Office and teaching students at First Southern Baptist Church, he passed the New Mexico Bar Exam in 1985. He started with a partnership at Rowley Law Office in Clovis, but opened his own practice in 1996.

Parker served as a deacon at churches in both Clovis and Portales, and taught a community men's Bible class at the North Plains Cinema 7.

He was appointed to the district bench in by Gov. Bill Richardson in September 2003, and served four years before retiring due to health concerns and moving to hospice care in Amarillo.

Parker heard various cases in Portales and Clovis, and kept a full docket even as he began to battle Parkinson's. A 2007 murder conviction of Robert "Pelon" Macias was overturned by the state supreme court following a ruling that Parker improperly allowed hearsay evidence into the trial, but Macias was convicted again when the case was reheard.

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