Parker Huber of Brattleboro died surrounded by silence in his home, just before daybreak on July 8, 2022. In his final weeks, he was surrounded by a few devoted friends and medical hospice nurses, who cared for him lovingly. He lost his capacity to bicycle in early 2020 due to Parkinson’s disease, but his love of walking enabled him to stay connected to his beloved outdoors and the people on the streets of Brattleboro. Parker was a contemplative, quiet man, yet paradoxically he connected with and touched the lives of many. He was true inspiration and a guiding light with his generous, supportive presence and his extraordinary capacity for deep listening. He commonly understated his unique accomplishments, attributes and gifts, and was likely unaware of the profound affect he had on others’ lives.
Parker was a weaver of connections through the many groups of which he was a member. Circle Dancing was a great love of his, and he danced joyfully in the Brattleboro Circle Dance community for thirty-five years. He was active in and well loved by the Putney Friends Meeting for almost thirty years, and more recently, with St. Michael’s Episcopal Church through their contemplative and centering prayer groups. He also had a significant influence on the community of nature writers, both locally and nationally, through his envisioning and founding the Glen Brook writers’ group and facilitating its meetings for thirty years, as well as the Crestone writers’ group in Colorado. Parker was an avid naturalist and writer and was known for his yearly pilgrimages to the top of Monadnock on Thanksgiving Day. Perhaps less well-known, he climbed mountains all over the country, and even in New Zealand, and served in his younger years as a wilderness guide.
He published a number of books based on his own adventures and those of the writers he admired most, Thoreau and Muir. The Wildest Country, in which he followed Thoreau’s journeys in Maine on foot and by canoe, was originally published in 1981 and reissued by popular demand in 2008. In Infinite Good: The Mountains of William James (Green Writers Press, 2018), author and naturalist, J. Parker Huber, follows the famed naturalist and philosopher William James’ sojourns in New England.
He was respected, admired and loved by many people across the continents, and will be greatly missed in our town of Brattleboro.
To honor Parker’s memory, and in lieu of a monetary donation in his name,
consider making your own dedication to a practice that contributes to peace
within and stretching your capacity for generosity and kindness toward all
people as well as to the diverse forms of life that support all of us everywhere.