The circus community and close friends and family of Scott Parker will remember the former Ringling Bros. circus clown's life in a memorial service Thursday.
The memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at Showfolks of Sarasota, 5204 N. Lockwood Ridge Road. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The organization since 1964 has served as an alliance and interest group for circus artists and workers and friends, many who have retired in this Circus City.
Parker was killed Dec. 7 on U.S. 301 when Siosaia Fonua of Bradenton struck Parker's car at 47th Street. Fonua is facing charges for DUI manslaughter, refusal to submit to a blood-alcohol test, driving on a suspending license resulting in a death and leaving the scene of a crash involving a death.
Fonua is due to appear in Sarasota County court at 9 a.m. Jan. 4.
Parker grew up in California where he graduated from Homestead High School in Cupertino, Calif., in 1975 and he ventured off to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Baily Clown College in Sarasota that led him to 20 years with Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey as a clown in the blue tour, which would tour on even years.
Several family members and friends of Parker have left messages on Patch about Parker.
Tamala Moore was Parker's girlfriend at the time and wrote that she is in shock.
"Scott was my best friend, co-worker, my boyfriend, He was the best person I have ever known. I'm still in shock. I can not believe he is gone. He was my world. My life will never be the same again. He touched so many peoples lives in so many ways," Moore wrote. "I have a huge big hole in my broken heart. I want to thank everyone for all the thoughts, prayers, and support. I could not go through this without the love and support from all of our many friends, and family."
"Scott was one of the most talented clowns when we worked together on the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in the early '70s," Kevin Bickford wrote. "I will always remember his great double take in the circus ring. He made at least a million people smile in his life, we should all do as good."
Joe "Wood" Meyer said Parker was a "great juggler, superb mime and very funny."
"Scott was one of the great clowns on the Blue show and his classic double take was almost alien in its intensity," Meyer said.
Rick Davis said Parker was so much more than a clown making folks laugh.
"But he was something more: One of a kind; Mesmerizing performer; Followed his own path; Made humanity larger by sharing his own unique humanity," Davis said.
Parker's older brother Lance "Skip" Parker asked for prayers for his nieces.
"We are in terrible shock and anguish by Scott being ripped away from us," Skip Parker wrote. "Please pray for Scott's daughter and loved ones during this time of devastating loss."