It pains me to admit I’m no longer here but at least I got to say I went the way I wanted. Quietly, peacefully in my sleep, during my second nap of the day. For those of you who know me, there are many stories I can share but for those who don’t let’s start from the beginning. I was born in Idaho Falls, Idaho, on June 7, 1946, to a beautiful couple, Fred Allen and Mary LaRue (Shelton) Parks. I was the oldest and wisest of two kids. My sister Lenny (Parks) Harjala, what can I say, our relationship was always a work in progress.
I was the leader of the pack, always running around and getting into trouble teaching my friends how to create our own fireworks using explosives that we borrowed from the railroad. In my earlier years, there was a terrible accident that involved the Hostess truck (don’t worry, no one was hurt), but the damage to all those sweets was unfathomable. My friends and I decided to step in and perform our civic duty by cleaning up the mess. We stuffed our duffle bags full of goodies (to prevent any further harm to the sweets, I mean people) and proceeded to eat until we threw up. I was also very savvy at an early age. Me and my gang of wild boys would hop the trains to get around town (legally of course, wink).
From an early age I was destined for greatness. I was always an avid athlete, hunter, outdoors man, and horseman. I played football (tackle) and baseball all through college and lettered my Freshman year in High School. I led, and was on, the board for 17 years in the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. My educational background was in civil engineering and kick started a long and varied career, beginning with the City of Idaho Falls as a surveyor, ending with the INL after a 40 year career as a Project Manager over Nuclear Threat Reduction. Some of my perks from the job are my illustrious three million miles with Delta and abundant Marriott stays. Some would say I deserve a dedicated seat on Delta with my name on it and a suite with Marriott. If Heaven has a frequent flyer lounge, that’s where I’ll be.
There is no building named after me, no monuments erected in my honor, except the prestigious family that I leave behind. For they mean more to me than all the stories I leave behind. I will forever love and miss my beautiful wife; Beverly (Heinz) Parks; daughters, Stephanie (Solis) Andrews (Kevin), Tobie Marie (Parks) Vincent (Stephen), Whitney (Barrow) Peila (Adam); and son Blake Barrow (Leah); my many wonderful grandkids, Zachery Anderson (Heather), Brecca Nicole Anderson, Maddison Marie Vincent, Kevin Delaney Vincent (Kelsey), Whitney Heuer, Michael David Vincent, Sean Alexander Vincent, Sophie Blaire Peila, Lila Kay Barrow, Marcus James Peila, William Clark Barrow; and last but not least, my beautiful great grandchildren, Tia Henderson, Korbyn Henderson, Delaney Louise Vincent, and Quinn Alexandra Vincent.
Today I am happy and am reunited with my Dad, Mom, and beautiful granddaughter Alyssa Catherine Vincent again.