I’m a wife, mother of three wonderful kids, a children’s book author three times over, play the flute, write poetry, and am super duper active in the community I love! NOLA!
That’s one side of a five-time Emmy award-winning news anchor and six-time Edward R. Murrow Award winner who could be seen every morning on the Gray Television-owned FOX affiliate serving New Orleans, a woman who had been a presence at WVUE-8 for 23 years.
On Friday, while working on a story, Nancy Parker unexpectedly lost her life at the age of 53.
On Friday, Aug. 16, Parker took to the skies above New Orleans in a stunt plane with pilot Franklin J.P. Augustus, a member of a Louisiana group that honored the Tuskegee Airmen.
Just after 3pm Central, something went terribly wrong, sending the plane carrying both Augustus and Parker into a field just south of New Orleans Lakefront Airport.
According to a National Transportation Safety Board report obtained by WVUE, a fire was reported after the crash, which also took the life of Augustus. He described himself as the “world’s only black civilian air-show acrobatic pilot.”
The plane involved is a 1983 Pitts S-2B aircraft.
At WVUE, Parker first gained attention as a weekend news anchor from June 1996 through September 1999. She then was promoted to a news anchor for early- and late-evening newscasts. In June 2011, she shifted to the 4pm and 5pm newscasts exclusively, before moving to the anchor desk for morning newscasts starting at 6am and ending at 10am.
Before joining WVUE, Parker spent six years as a top-rated 5pm news anchor for CBS affiliate WAFB-9 in Baton Rouge. She has also worked at WSFA-12 in Montgomery, Ala. Parker began her career as a Bureau Chief and reporter for the Alabama Bureau of WTVM-9 in Columbus, Ga.
But, the TV anchor began her career at a local AM radio station. She landed a job anchoring evening drive news at the former WJHO-AM 1400 in Opelika, Ala., as a 17-year-old high school student.
Local reaction was immediate, with an outpouring of sympathy coming from all corners of the state.
“Nancy was absolutely a joy to work with each and every day,” said WVUE VP/GM Tim Ingram. “[We] lost a wonderful journalist and remarkable friend. The New Orleans television community lost a true treasure. But, beyond that, her family lost a wife, a mother and daughter. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”
In a statement released Friday, Gray Television Chairman/CEO Hilton Howell Jr. commented, “We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of longtime WVUE anchor Nancy Parker. I was fortunate to meet Nancy at the station in June. I was immediately struck by her larger-than-life personality and her unwavering passion for New Orleans and its people. It was clear that Nancy relished her role as a journalist and her storytelling was second to none. Her most cherished role was that of wife and mother. Our hearts go out to her husband Glynn; her children Parker, Piper, and Pierce; and the entire WVUE family. Nancy brought joy to all who met her. Today we are shocked and saddened that Nancy is gone, but we are grateful for the many ways she enriched our lives and the community she so loved.”
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards also offered his sympathies.
“An Emmy-winning reporter, cancer advocate and author, Nancy used her platform to tell stories that mattered to the people of our state,” he said. “Please join your prayers to mine and Donna’s for Nancy’s husband and three children as they come to terms with this shocking loss.”
A memorial service will be held at Xavier’s Convocation Center on Friday (8/23) with doors opening at 9am Central. The announcement came from husband Glynn Boyd via his Facebook page on Sunday. On the social media platform, Boyd called Parker “an amazing person,” and noted he misses her “like crazy.” Boyd also thanked everyone for their support, writing “we feel the love and the power of prayer.”