Longtime Full-Service Gas Station Operator Bobby Parker Passes Away

  • Tuesday, April 23, 2024

A longtime fixture on Brainerd Road, Bobby Parker passed away on Monday after a long bout with cancer. Mr. Parker had been at his familiar post until shortly before he died.

Bobby Parker had started working for his grandfather as a teen and took over at age 20 when his grandfather died.

He was one of the few service stations in the country who continued to offer full service at the pumps.

Mr. Parker also had a thriving service business and a reputation for friendly service and integrity.

Mr. Parker once told an interviewer, "Some people just don't want to pump gas. It doesn't matter who they are. Young. Old. It doesn't matter."

There were thousands of loyal customers at his Brainerd Gulf (later Parkers Citgo) at the old station at 3600 Brainerd Road. The lot was crammed with cars waiting for service or just finished up, and more were behind the station across the creek.

His wife, Lee Ann, who always worked closely with him, could always be seen doing the books or checking out a customer.

Customers raved about him.

One said, "Bobby runs a great shop, the repairs and done right the first time at a great price. They will alert you to repairs that might be on the horizon, but never try to sell you a repair you don't need. They're great at keeping older vehicles running well without spending an arm and a leg."

He had a reputation for treating female customers the same as men.

One of the female customers said, "As a gal who travels a lot- I've trusted Bobby and his crew with the care of my '91 Honda over the years. They do fair and honest work for a good price. I wouldn't take my car to anyone else in Chattanooga!"

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