The Oct. 18 obituary of Isadore Jack "Izzy" Parker gave an incorrect first name for his daughter Naomi Hatch and should have stated that he was divorced from Janet Jacobs Parker. (Published 10/19/04)
Isadore Jack "Izzy" Parker, 84, a humorist and cartoonist who satirized life in Greenbelt and national events for the Greenbelt News Review and other publications, and who also was zoning chief for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, died Oct. 11 of complications of diabetes at Doctors Community Hospital in Lanham. He lived in Greenbelt.
In about 60 years as an editorial cartoonist, Mr. Parker used the curvy lines of his pen to comment on once federally controlled Greenbelt, the carpool culture of the 1940s, the plight of the ordinary man and local and national politics.
He was cartoonist and then editor of the Greenbelt News Review, a community newspaper, in the 1940s, when it was called the Cooperator. He returned in the 1990s as the editorial cartoonist known as "Old Curmudgeon." He was producing the weekly cartoon a month before his death.
In the mid-1960s, Mr. Parker's drawings appeared on The Washington Post's editorial page Saturdays and Mondays. Later, they appeared occasionally on Saturday's op-ed "Drawing Board." His caricatures were referred to then as Mr. Middlebrow, a kind of everyman.
A retrospective of Mr. Parker's work, "Izzy! The Cartoons of Isadore Parker 1945-2003," was held in May at the Greenbelt Community Center.
"He was very proud, appreciative that people were acknowledging him," said his daughter Nancy Hatch of Alexandria. He also "was taken aback by the extent of his body of work."
Mr. Parker, a man with a wry sense of humor, also had a 25-year career with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, from which he retired as chief of the zoning office. After retirement, he did consulting on planning and zoning issues and returned to writing and drawing at the Greenbelt News Review.
Isadore Jack Parker was born in and grew up in Chicago, where he frequented vaudeville shows at theaters with his friends and gathered a repertoire of jokes. He attended the Chicago Institute of Art in the 1930s and later spent a year in the Civilian Conservation Corps in Nevada, helping put out fires.
He came to Washington in 1942 to work as a messenger for the Railroad Retirement Board. He later received undergraduate and master's degrees in urban planning at the University of Maryland's Open University.
In the 1950s, while working as a draftsman with the Navy Hydrographic Office in Suitland, Mr. Parker was accused of being a security risk and lost his job. He and another Greenbelt resident, Abraham Chananow, were suspected of being communists, charges of which they were exonerated.
During this time, Mr. Parker supported his family by working at a Hahns shoe store in the evenings. He also became a draftsman at Michael Baker Associates, an engineering firm in College Park, where he helped to design the Capital Beltway.
Mr. Parker continued to draw cartoons and write, fusing his fascination with politics and his sense of humor.
In the 1960s, he wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal when the first touch-tone phones came out. His article was about the different tunes his friends' phone numbers created.
His cartoons appeared in a few books, one of which was "No Laughing Matter," a collection of cartoons focusing on air pollution for the National Conference on Air Pollution in 1966.
Later in life, he developed a hobby of collecting antiques, particularly pie safes. At one time, he possessed 30 pie safes in various stages of refinishing, said his daughter. He was named the "Pie Safe King of Prince George's County."
He also loved to peruse the antique market in Crumpton, Md., filling his vacation home in Chincoteague with antique quilts, lamps and "objets d'art."
He was a contributor to the Jewish Foundation of Group Homes.
In addition to his daughter, survivors include his wife of 45 years, Janet Jacobs Parker of Greenbelt; four other children, Sharon O'Keefe of San Francisco, Marsha Parker of Sonoma, Calif., Mitchell Parker of Greenbelt and Shelley Parker of Silver Spring; four grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.