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ASU Gammage mourns loss of longtime technical director

A man stands in front of the entrance to a theater.

Clyde Parker stands inside ASU Gammage.

July 24, 2020

Clyde Parker, a 44-year ASU Gammage employee who worked on the auditorium’s original crew, died July 10 from lung cancer. He was 79 years old.

When Parker arrived at ASU in 1961 to pursue a teaching degree, he never expected to spend a major  part of the next five decades working at a theater. ASU Gammage, which was just a construction project in its early stages, was across the street from his home and steps away from the then-College of Education. When the auditorium opened its doors in 1964, Parker found a job as a stage hand. He stayed at ASU Gammage for more than four decades, retiring in 2008 as the theater’s technical director.

In an interview for the theater’s 50th anniversary, Parker called ASU Gammage “a masterful place.”

"It has been my life,” he said. “There's probably not a day that goes by that I don't reflect on something about Gammage or what has happened there."

Those who knew Parker fondly recall a man who loved coffee, storytelling and the thrill of the performing arts.

"Clyde was an amazing force at ASU Gammage,” said Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, ASU vice president for cultural affairs and executive director of ASU Gammage. “He was a treasured member of the Gammage family since the theater’s opening and will be remembered for his energy and passion for the arts.”

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