Family and friends remember former circus clown

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SARASOTA - Many in Sarasota County's tight-knit circus community came together Thursday night to remember one of their own.

55-year-old Scott Parker was killed last week when a drunk driver slammed into his car on U.S. 301 in Sarasota. On Thursday, dozens attended a tribute for Parker at the Showfolks of Sarasota building on Lockwood Ridge Road.

Pictures of Parker in clown makeup were scattered throughout the building, in addition to some of his clown suits and boots.

"Scott was loved by so many people. He made so many people laugh and smile. He was one of a kind," said Parker's girlfriend, Tamala Moore.

In 1975, Parker graduated from the Ringling Clown College in Venice. He then went on to perform in the Ringling Bros. Circus and Circus Vargas for two decades.

"I think this is his legacy," said Parker's sister, Darcy Wharton. "He was just a wonderful human being."

"He was an excellent performer," said Susan Bennett, a former trapeze artist who was in the circus with Parker. "At the drop of a hat, he could make you laugh."

A private visitation was also held for Parker on Thursday. A memorial service will take place in his home state of California in the near future. He leaves behind a 21-year-old daughter.