Cover photo for George  Robert  Parkerson, Jr.'s Obituary
George  Robert  Parkerson, Jr. Profile Photo
1927 George 2022

George Robert Parkerson, Jr.

November 7, 1927 — May 7, 2022

George Robert Parkerson, Jr. died peacefully on May 7, 2022 at Arbor Acres retirement home in Winston-Salem, NC.  He was 94 years of age. George was born on November 7, 1927 in Norfolk, Virginia, son of the late George Robert Parkerson, Sr. and Nettie Sue Tuck Parkerson. He was predeceased by his wonderful wife of 56 years, Mary McCowen Parkerson and his brothers William Lawrence Parkerson and Walter Tuck Parkerson.  


George is survived by his brother, John Beveridge Parkerson; daughter, Sue Tuck Parkerson of Cary; son, Bob Parkerson and his wife Susan of Houston, Texas; daughter, Ann Parkerson Jones and her husband Barry of Raleigh; daughter, Lyn Parkerson Carpenter and her husband Kelly of Winston-Salem; and grandchildren Nicholas Wisner and his wife Ashley, Steven Jones, Caroline Wisner, Katie Parkerson, Jack Parkerson, and Kate Carpenter.


Most important in George’s life were his faith in God and his desire to do God’s will to the best of his understanding and ability. He considered the most important parts of God’s will for his life to be the care of his own family and the care of others as a physician.


George spent his childhood in Norfolk and Roanoke, Virginia and his teen years in Durham. He attended Central Junior High School in Durham, where he was valedictorian, and Durham High School, where he was salutatorian. George was active in Boy Scout Troop 13 at Duke Memorial United Methodist Church and eventually became an Eagle Scout. After graduation from high school in 1945, he served one year in the U.S. Navy and then attended Trinity College at Duke University. He graduated after three years and was accepted into Duke Medical School.


George and Mary were married in June, 1949, a few months before George entered medical school. After graduating from medical school in 1953, he completed an internship in medicine at Duke University Hospital and a residency at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.


In 1955, George began the general practice of medicine, surgery, obstetrics, and pediatrics in Winder, Georgia and practiced there for 18 years. In 1973, he moved to Macon, Georgia to help establish the Family Medicine Residency at the Medical Center of Central Georgia.


In 1974, George returned to Duke University Medical Center to help establish the Duke-Watts Family Medicine Residency, which later became the Duke Family Medicine Residency. In 1976 he attended the UNC School of Public Health and received a Masters of Public Health in epidemiology. He later became a professor in the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Duke and served as chair of the department from 1985 to 1994.  He served as one of the chairs of the Duke University Health System Institutional Review Board from 2000 until 2015. George continued to work in the Family Medicine department as a researcher and adviser until he retired in 2020 and became a professor emeritus.


At Duke, George was instrumental in developing the family medicine curriculum for Duke medical students, which included a clerkship at Duke and a preceptorship with practicing family doctors throughout the state of North Carolina. He also led the successful effort to move the family medicine residency program to the Duke campus and to obtain Duke Hospital admission privileges and obstetrical privileges for family physician faculty members. His research focused on severity of illness, social support and stress, health-related quality of life, and population health, and his work included the development of instruments to measure these factors.


Both George and Mary loved Duke and appreciated Duke’s fine spiritual, educational, medical, and recreational programs, for which they were long-time financial supporters. Three of their children and one of their grandchildren received Duke degrees, and all four children were married in Duke Chapel. Mary served as the Director of Development and Administration at Duke Chapel for 17 years. She died of lung cancer in 2006.


The family will receive visitors at Hall-Wynne Funeral Service, 1113 W. Main Street, Durham on May 12, 2022 from 6:00-8:00 pm. The family respectively requests that all visitors wear a facemask.


A funeral service will be held on May 13 at 1:00 pm in the Hall-Wynne chapel, with The Reverend Kelly P. Carpenter presiding. George will be buried next to Mary at Maplewood Cemetery in Durham.


In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory of George R. Parkerson, Jr. to the Shalom Project, 639 South Green Street, Winston-Salem, NC, 27101 or online at  Contributions may also be made to the Duke Chapel Endowment, The Mary and George Parkerson Chapel Foreign Mission Endowment, the Endowment for the Deanship of Duke Chapel, the Director of Chapel Music Endowment, and the Humanitarian Service Award Endowment; these can be mailed to Duke University Chapel, 401 Chapel Drive, Box 90974, Durham, NC 27708 or given online at In addition, contributions to support the Wesleyan College Pierce Chapel can be mailed to Wesleyan College, 4760 Forsyth Road, Macon, GA 31210 or given online at


The Parkerson family is under the care of the Hall-Wynne Funeral Service.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of George Robert Parkerson, Jr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Thursday, May 12, 2022

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Friday, May 13, 2022

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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