In life, there are people you come across who are so rare that they leave a mark on your heart that can’t be explained. Today we honor the memory of such a man. And while no amount of words can fully encapsulate the greatness of our beloved Parnell, we will honor him by telling the story of his life with love, joy, and care.
Parnell Walker was born in Oakland, California on August 5th, 1949 to parents Eddie and Bernadine Walker. As one of 5 children, Parnell was a loving and
protective child who looked after his siblings, as well as his mother. Even as a young man, Parnell didn’t let you get the best of him. His brothers will tell you that he was known to throw the first punch and while he didn’t always start the fight, he certainly knew how to finish one.
In high school, Parnell excelled on the Castlemont High School wrestling team. He graduated with the class of 1967 and soon after started his career in haircare. After graduating Parnell received his Associates's degree in Cosmetology from Laney College in Oakland, CA.
Parnell’s love for hair grew into a lifelong profession. His journey into haircare began after he received his cosmetology license in nine states and became the Master trainer at the legendary Soul Scissors in NYC. While conducting training in New York, Parnell met and married Elvina Carrington in 1977. From there Parnell traveled around the country training hairstylists and changing lives one head at a time.
Parnell was a very talented hairstylist and entrepreneur who branded his very own chain of Parnell Curl Center beauty salons in California and Connecticut. Parnell’s first salon opened in the spring of 1981. He adored his craft and enjoyed bringing joy to anyone who had the honor of sitting in his chair. Over the course of his career, Parnell won multiple local and national hair shows. He was well known in the haircare community and was beloved by all who had the opportunity to work beside him. While enjoying his lucrative career in the haircare industry he met and married his second wife Joyce Roberts in 1997.
Parnell enjoyed traveling and spending time with his family, especially his children. His friends were so important to him - so much so that he considered them family. Parnell enjoyed playing softball and was a member of the Golden Seniors of Sacramento Softball team. Aside from hair - bowling was Parnell’s greatest passion. He was a proud member of the Sacramento Thunderballs Bowling Club for over 35 years. He was not only a high scorer and winner of several tournaments but he was also served as an executive board member for many years.
Parnell never missed a party! To know Parnell, was to love him. He was EVERYONE’S favorite person! He was the favorite uncle, the favorite cousin, and the very best friend to all who opened their heart to him. He had a way of making everyone he met feel special and important. His personality was big and his heart was bigger. He was an entertaining and animated storyteller. His laughter was infectious and his love for life showed in every interaction he shared with those closest to him. Parnell truly enjoyed having a good time and he effortlessly brought joy and warmth to every room he entered.
Parnell was a genuine and passionate man who was truly one of a kind. It is said that great men do not actually die. Instead, they live on in the hearts and memories of all the people they touched along the way. There will never be another Parnell Walker, but his memory will live on through everyone blessed enough to have known him and loved him.
Parnell departed this life on July 31, 2020, and was preceded in death by his father Eddie Walker. He leaves to celebrate his memory: His mother Bernadine Walker; his brothers Richard, Rodney, and Kenneth; his sister Gwynne; his significant other Sandria Arnold; his children Adante (Shawn), Tori, Parneille, Andrea (spouse Melvin), Di’Andre, D’Angelo (spouse Stefanie), Nathan (spouse Crystal), Reggie, Parnell, and Joynell; his grandchildren Tina, Aliya, Elijah, Adante and Nathan III; his great-grandson Khalil and a host of aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends who loved him dearly.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Parnell Gerald Walker, please visit our floral store.