Friday May 20th, 2022
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Eura Eugene "Gene" Parks
Eura Eugene Parks known to most as Gene Parks passed away peacefully April 22, 2022, just shy of his 84th birthday. He had recently moved to the Carrier Mills Nursing & Rehabilitation Center for hospice care. Gene was born in Marion, Illinois on April 30, 1938, to Fred L. and Helen (Camden) Parks. He was the second of three sons born to his parents. Both of his parents and older brother, Kenneth Parks, preceded him in death.
Gene graduated from Crab Orchard High School in 1956 and was the first in his family to graduate college. He commuted to SIU-C and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. During this time, Gene also enlisted in the Army National Guard where he was a personnel specialist until 1962.
Gene began his teaching career at Crab Orchard Elementary School then transferred to the Arnold View Elementary School where he also held some administrative duties. After the two schools consolidated, he continued to teach 5th and 6th grades at the Crab Orchard Elementary School. He retired from teaching in 1995 after 37 years in education. After retiring as a teacher, he went on to be a personal assistant with WCSE for two young men in Marion. For most of his adult life, Gene held part time jobs in the evening and on weekends, the longest of which was at Sears, first in Carbondale and then in Marion. He retired twice from Sears when they recruited him to return after his original retirement because of his great diligence to the job he did for them. Gene also worked for other department stores such as Tempo and Dillard's, both in Marion.
Gene was an avid pet lover. He had many dogs throughout his life and usually two or more at a time. He loved Boston Terries, Schnauzers, Chihuahuas, Yorkies, Min-Pins and his most recent dog, Bear-Bear, a Pomeranian.
Gene grew up in the Arnold View Freewill Baptist Church. He anonymously supported several missionary outreach programs.
Gene leaves behind his younger brother and sister-in-law, Jeff & Donna Parks, his two beloved nephews Jeremy Parks & Trevor Parks, and his two precious great-nephews, Cade Parks & Cooper Parks, along with several cousins and some good friends.
The family would like to thank the following for all the love and care that has been shown to Gene: the staff at the Villas of Holly Brook where he was a long-time resident, Hospice of Southern Illinois, the staff at the Carrier Mills Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, and Dr. Parton and his staff at Quality Care Animal Hospital for adopting Bear-Bear as the office mascot for Gene.
Graveside services will be 3 pm on Friday, May 20, 2022, at Maplewood Cemetery in Marion, IL. Military rites will be accorded at the cemetery. Family and friends are asked to meet directly at the cemetery. Mitchell-Hughes Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. ??
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to your local animal humane shelter, Hospice of Southern Illinois, or Arnold View Freewill Baptist Church.
I met Gene 32 years ago when we were working in the men's dept. at Dillard's. Of course, Gene had two or three more jobs at the time, which was the norm for him. Gene was a very good friend and a devoted son. When his parents left the farm, Gene provided a home for them, always concerned for their welfare. When one of his dogs, Dottie, needed treatment, we took her to the College of Veterinary Medicine at the Univ. of Illinois. Gene remembered birthdays with calls, cards, and gifts. If a truck was needed, he made his available. Gene was very good at investing in real estate. He enjoyed wearing nice clothes and shoes. I venture to say that he kept the men's dept. at Dillard's in the black during his time there! There were many trips to the stores and restaurants in the area, Golden Corral a favorite until the pandemic came to southern Ill. Drives to his farm in Crab Orchard were on the agenda as well.
Gene dealt with all of the changes in his life in his quiet way, always apologizing if he voiced a grievance for which he had cause, being careful to not overstep any boundaries.
Today, April 30, is Gene's birthday. I am so glad that I visited him twice in the few days before he passed away. I will always remember him as a very nice, smart, generous, funny and true-blue friend, and I will miss him.
Pat Damron Apr 30 2022 11:03 AM
We had so many good times with Gene; weekly lunches at the Golden Corral, Monopoly games at our house, celebrating birthdays, taking his many dogs to the Vet, and shopping trips looking for the elusive item.
We just saw Bear-Bear Parks at Quality Care Animal Hospital this week. He was doing an outstanding job in his new position as Office Mascot. Gene would be so proud of him.
Rest in peace good friend. You fought the good fight.
Lee and Brigetta Guinn Apr 28 2022 6:37 PM
So sorry for your loss. Have a lot of good memories of him growing up.
Gary and Sharon Bundren Apr 26 2022 7:37 PM