Salisbury native, prominent as Washington fundraiser, dies at 48

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 3, 2009

Staff reports

Margaret Alexander Parker, 48, a Salisbury native who rose to prominence in national Republican circles as a fundraiser, died in Washington Thursday of complications of leukemia.

She was the daughter of Doris Alexander of Salisbury and the late Jake Alexander.

Parker had had leukemia for three years. After a period of remission, the leukemia returned this past summer.

She had lived in Washington for the past 26 years, during which she worked with and for both President George W. Bush and his father, former President George H.W. Bush. She served as national finance director for the elder Bush’s presidential committee in 1987-89.

Parker’s other national positions included former finance director of the Republican National Committee; national deputy finance chairman of the Bush-Quayle campaign in 1992; senior adviser to the finance chairman for the American Bicentennial Presidential Inaugural Committee; finance director of the national Republican fund-raising association, GOPAC; and deputy director of major donor fundraising for the Reagan-Bush ’84 campaign.

She was also co-founder and managing partner of Advantage Inc., the national political, fundraising and direct marketing consulting firm; and founder and managing director of The Alexander Co., which provided assistance to senatorial and presidential candidates and Fortune 100 companies and nonprofit organizations in fundraising and marketing.

She served as finance director for the Republican National Committee from 1989 to 1993 and from 1997 to 2001.

A 1976 graduate of Salisbury High School, she attended Salem College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she received a bachelor of arts degree in political science in 1980.

She was also a member of numerous boards and committees, including the executive Victory 2000 committee for George W. Bush and the 54th Presidential Inaugural Committee.

In addition, she served on the president’s advisory committee on the arts for the John F. Kennedy Center, on the board of trustees for the American Council of Young Political Leaders and on the board of directors for the Washington Center for Politics and Journalism and the National Women’s History Museum.

And she taught Sunday School at St. Albans Episcopal Church in Washington.

She is survived by her husband, Anthony W. Parker, and her stepson, Preston Parker of Washington; her mother, Doris Alexander of Salisbury; her sister, Doris Alexander Dyer of Chapel Hill; and two brothers, Jake Alexander of Salisbury and Ellis Alexander of Norcross, Ga.

A funeral service will take place at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Washington on Monday.

A graveside service will take place on Saturday, Dec. 16, at City Memorial Park in Salisbury.