Keeper Bio: Parker, Venus

Date of Service: 1912

1862: Born in Virginia approximately 1862.

1870s: Marries William Major Parker.

1886-1912: Lived with her husband, William Major Parker, Principal Keeper at Killock Shoal Lighthouse, VA.

1912: Venus Parker’s husband, William Major Parker died on duty January 22nd at the age of 57. Venus took over his duties of Principal Keeper for the next two months until a replacement was appointed in March.

Venus Parker Anecdotes:

On the night of January 23, 1912,  Venus had been on shore visiting friends for a few days when Venus and the locals felt something was wrong because the lighthouse was completely dark. A few locals decided to ride a boat out to the lighthouse along with Venus. Arriving at the dark station, they climbed up the ladder into the house and found Parker in the bedroom dead on his knees with his head laying on the bed. Because Parker was such a man of faith, many people say he died while praying.

Venus Parker was devastated, but she also realized the importance of keeping the light shining. After working alongside her husband all of those years, she knew what needed to be done, so she stayed to maintain the light until another keeper was appointed in March.

 Sources:, Chesapeake Chapter Database, Timothy Harrison, “He Died on His Knees”, Lighthouse Digest, July 2010



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