Milford Schools Foundation
The Jim Parker Student-Athlete Scholarship
Tribute Author: Barry Bonnell
Jim Parker, my coach, mentor, and friend, passed early this morning. Here is my tribute to him...
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said that we can tell the true character of people by what they do for those from whom they have nothing to gain. I’m pretty sure he was talking about Jim Parker when he said it.
Jim’s real name, in my opinion, is Jim Honesty Integrity Parker. He was the model for such grand and important words. Most of us knew him as Coach Parker, and he was a good one. A good coach, like Jim, not only teaches his charges how to play better, but he teaches them how to be better people. That was certainly true for me.
Jim used his own great athletic skills and experience to pass knowledge on to several generations of youthful hopefuls. While he was doing that, he served the community in ways that only his lovely wife, Nancy, knows for sure. We are all aware of some portions of what he did, and he and Nancy went so far as to take one of the lost boys into his own home. No tribute to Jim “HI” Parker could ever do him justice.
He was my football coach when I was just a pair of shoes sticking out from under shoulder pads and a helmet, and my baseball coach too. He was a person who has epitomized the Gothe quote more than any other that comes to mind.
A few years ago, he was presented with a mentoring award. The award was affixed with a mountain climbing figure-eight belay device. The belay device was placed on its side to symbolize infinity, which hints at the true nature of mentoring.
“On Belay” is the term used in climbing to signal when the climber is protected by the mentor on the other end of the rope. Climbers must scale the mountain on their own. Nobody can climb a mountain for you, but having a trusted mentor on the other end of the rope is a great comfort when it's a long way down. A mentor has your back when you’re on the rocky escarpment. Jim taught us how to climb the mountain, and held the line while we summited.
Jim affected countless others by inspiring his charges with the will to pay it forward. Those of us who followed Jim’s example, and there are hundreds of us, have mentored literally hundreds of others over the years. We’ve taught our own charges how to play, and how to be good people, and many of those each will mentor others, ad infinitim. The world is a better place because of Jim “HI” Parker.
We’re into many generations of his outstanding influence now, counting into the thousands of individuals, and not just in sports, not by far. What a fantastic impact this one man has had on the planet. The scope of Jim Parker’s influence is incalculable, unknowable really, and it’s all good - nothing but good. He lives on through all of us.
Safely speaking for others, surely, we offer our greatest appreciation and deepest affection for Coach Parker. From all of us who have climbed the mountain because he was on the other end of the rope.
“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1749-1832, German poet, novelist and philosopher-
John E. Imbus
On December 11, 2021, the Milford Schools Foundation lost one of its strongest supporters. John was a 1959 graduate of Milford High School who went on to earn his BS in Civil Engineering. Since then he built and had been the driving force of Imbus Enterprises, Inc. In 2020, John endowed The Imbus Family scholarship, which assists Milford students seeking a degree in engineering at an Ohio college or university.
The Foundation is extremely grateful for John’s commitment to our students and while he will be sincerely missed, his commitment to education will live on in perpetuity through the Imbus Family Scholarship.
The Board of Directors offers our condolences to his lovely wife, Corliss, and his family.
If you would like to donate to the Imbus Family Scholarship, please click donate.
2022 Night of the Stars
Honoring Distinguished Alumni
The Milford Schools Foundation eagerly works to pave the way for students’ future success, and it also takes the time to honor those who have already achieved that success. Each year the Foundation honors a new class of Distinguished Alumni during the Night of the Stars celebration. Those honorees also speak to the current senior class of Milford High School, and relate how their experience at Milford made them what they are today.