Herbert S. Parker, 55, a White House communications aide and a retired Navy radio man, died of emphysema Dec. 20 at the Walter Reed Army Hospital.

Mr. Parker, a lifelong resident of Washington, graduated from Armstrong High School. He served in the Navy briefly at the end of World War II and again from 1953 until he retired in 1971. His assignments included two tours of duty in Vietnam and a tour at the South Pole with Operation Deep Freeze. He received the Navy Meritorious Achievement Medal.

After leaving the Navy, he went to work as a communicator for the White House.

Mr. Parker was an usher and a deacon at the Mount Airy Baptist Church.

His marriage to the former Jeanette Harrison ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife, Helen, and their son, Xavier, both of Washington; two children by his first marriage, the Rev. Conrad Parker and Karen A. Parker, both of Lanham; four stepchildren, Douglas Price, Darnell Price, D'Juan Price, and Tanya Glenn, all of Washington; his father, William H. Parker Sr., and stepmother, Lillian Parker, both of Washington; two brothers, Robert M., and James S., both of Washington; two sisters, Edna Jackson of Washington, and Sylvia Bernard of Somerset, N.J., and four grandchildren.