Three Generations Enjoy Parker’s Small-Town Feel 2

The O’Malleys First Came to Town in 1979

Not many 8-year-olds get to climb the same trees or run through the same terrain as their fathers. As a third-generation Parker resident, Sean O’Malley gets to do that frequently.

“He’ll come up here and start running,” says his father, Tom O’Malley, who grew up in the home his parents purchased 37 years ago on 15 acres in Ponderosa Hills. “He’ll start chasing the squirrels and the different animals.”

Sean’s grandparents and Tom’s parents, Ted and Sue O’Malley, moved to the area in early 1979 so that Ted could work as a flight instructor at United Airlines’ Denver Flight Training Center.

Although Ted went back to flying planes out of different United hubs and eventually retired in 2003, he and Sue never left. And two of their four sons, Tom and Ted, live in Parker with their wives and three children.

Looking back on the early years, Ted remembers that Parker Road was a two-lane road and Hills Country Market was the only grocery store. To “do big shopping,” the family would drive to the nearest King Soopers at Parker Road and I-225.

“We wore out a couple of cars,” Ted says. “We were always driving to go find anything because it wasn’t here in Parker. It was a much smaller community. The people that were out here, they were here because they enjoyed the open spaces, the beautiful views. That’s why we came here too.”

Tom attended Pine Lane Elementary, Parker Junior High and Ponderosa High schools. He graduated from Colorado State University in 1997 and returned to Parker in 2001.

“I came back to Parker because I had such a positive childhood,” Tom says. “I like how there’s space out here. It’s close to the city, but there’s still that small-town feel. And that’s what I enjoyed, and I wanted to raise my family in a similar situation.”

Tom and his wife, Melissa, have lived in their home near Lincoln Avenue and Jordan Road for 15 years. Sean was born at Parker Adventist Hospital in 2008.

“I just love it – the fact that we’re so close to family and Sean gets to see his grandparents. My brother and his family still live here,” Tom says. “There’s a tight-knit group here, and it’s just nice to have family so close.”

As the owners of Affinity Photography, Tom and Melissa are quite active in Town events.

“Growing up in Parker, that’s why right now I’m involved with our photography business in a lot of Town things,” Tom says. “We work with the Creative District. We photograph for the PACE Center. I just love being a part of what’s happening in Parker.

“We’re just trying to make a difference, trying to be a part of it,” Tom says. “Parker’s kind of an ideal place to live.”

No one plans to leave any time soon.

“This is not the time in my life to move away from family,” Ted says. “This was just a great place to live and it still is.”

Melissa agrees, saying: “Raising our family in Parker gives us a safe place to live at the same time as running a successful business in the Denver metro area. You can get the best of both worlds.”