LSU College of Agriculture alumnus creates scholarship to honor his late sister

Tobie Blanchard  |  5/8/2019 8:36:49 PM

(05/08/19) BATON ROUGE, La. — J. Wheeler Parker III is honoring his late sister with a scholarship in the LSU College of Agriculture.

The Kimberly Parker Wolverton Endowed Scholarship honors the memory of Wolverton, who died in a car wreck in May 1999 at the age of 34.

“Kimberly was the type of person that when she walked into a room, everybody’s mood got better,” Parker said.

He had been thinking of some way to remember her for a few years. Both attended LSU.

“She loved LSU, and I loved her,” Parker said.

Parker graduated from LSU with a degree in agricultural business in 1982. His sister majored in journalism, receiving her degree in 1986. Their father, who died in 2011, graduated from LSU in forestry.

Parker said the scholarship means a lot to his mother but would have embarrassed his sister, whom he described as never needing recognition.

Parker said his sister endured some hardships in life. She suffered from arthritis but never complained, he said. Also, her high school boyfriend was shot and killed while trying to stop a robbery.

“She kept a stiff upper lip about it,” he said. “She was really a strong person.”

Their mother, Katherine “Kit” Parker, described her daughter as having a big personality.

“Everyone loved her and flocked to her,” she said.

Wheeler Parker said Wolverton was active in the Make-A-Wish Foundation and loved working with children. She was a favorite aunt to her many nephews.

Wolverton didn’t have any children. She died just a few months after marrying Gary Wolverton in January 1999.

Parker, a wealth management advisor for Merrill Lynch, lives in Ridgeland, Mississippi. His three children all attended LSU as out-of-state students, as did he and his sister. They grew up in Natchez.

The scholarship will benefit out-of-state students in the College of Agriculture.

“I hope it can help attract out-of-state students and offer financial incentive for them to come to LSU,” he said.

Kimberly Parker Wolverton.jpg thumbnail

Kimberly Parker Wolverton. Photo provided by Katherine Parker

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