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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.
Friday, May 20, 2022
Starts at 3:00pm
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