Mr. John Will Parks III, 74, of Gastonia, died Friday, February 21, 2014 at Terrace Ridge. He was born October 21, 1939 in Mecklenburg County, NC, a son of the late John Will, II and Nancy Timberlake Parks.
John was a 1958 graduate of Frank L. Ashley High School in Gastonia and was an Eagle Scout. He graduated in 1962 from Davidson Col-lege where he was active in Kappa Sigma Fraternity and the Ne Ultra Society. He earned his Charter Life Underwriter (CLU) Degree from the American College in Bryn Mawr, PA in 1974 and began his career as a broker in Insurance and Investments.
John was a life member of The Million Dollar Round Table, recipient of National Quality Award for 22 consecutive years, an industry award from the National Association of Life Underwriters. He was a member of the Gold Key Society in the American Society of Chartered Life Underwriters.
John was a lifelong, faithful member of First Presbyterian Church in Gastonia where he served as past-chairman of the Scholarship Committee, Deacon and ordained Elder, Presbyterian Church of the United States, and past Secretary of the Presbyterian Endowment Trust.
He served in the community as Director Emeritus, Board of Directors of the Schiele Museum; Charter Member and Past President of Gastonia East Rotary Club where he was awarded the Paul Harris Fellow award in 1983; Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity, Gastonia Chapter; District 8 Commissioner of NC Wildlife Resources Commission and Commissioner NC Medical Care Commission, both of which appointed by the Gov-ernor of NC; member and past board member of the Gaston County Club.
As an avid outdoorsman, John loved hunting and fishing, especially his trips to Oakland Plantation and Lake Mattamuskeet. He helped with the re-introduction of the Eastern Wild Turkey to Gaston County and chairman of the Big Game Commission that re-introduced the Rock Mountain Elk and was charter member and founder of Ducks Unlimited of Gaston County.
John’s family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to his doctors and the staffs of Terrace Ridge and Hospice & Palliative Care of Lincoln County for their care of and compassion for John during his lengthy illness and the staff of Medical Center Pharmacy.
Survivors of Mr. Parks include his wife of 47 ½ years, Hope Poag Parks of Gastonia; son, Dr. John W. Parks, IV and wife Eva of Tallahassee, FL; daughter, Gamble Parks Douville and husband Gary of Santa Barbara, CA; grandsons, Gabriel David Parks and Tristan Liam Parks of Tal-lahassee, FL; brother, David Timberlake Parks and wife Becky of Clermont, FL; several nieces, nephews and extended family members, in-cluding his family from Chattanooga, TN; beloved dog Joy. In addition to his parents, John was preceded in death by his beloved dog Abbie.
Ecclesiastes 12: 1 & 13; (1)Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near, when you will say, “I have no delight in them”. (13) The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God, and keep his commandments, be-cause this applies to every person.
A service to celebrate Mr. Parks’ life will be held 2:00pm, Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at First Presbyterian Church of Gastonia with Revs. John Frye, John Stanley, and Matt Kuiken officiating. Visitation will follow the service in the church fellowship hall. A private service of com-mittal will be held for the family in the Columbarium of First Presbyterian Church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church, John W. Parks III Scholarship Fund, 1621 E. Garrison Blvd., Gastonia, NC 28054; Schiele Museum of Natural History, 1500 E Garrison Blvd, Gastonia, NC 28054, www.schielemuseum.org; or to Community Bi-ble Study, c/o Shelly Carter, 3631 Brentwood Drive, Gastonia, NC 28056.
Condolences may be sent to www.McLeanFuneral.com.
McLean Funeral Directors of Gastonia is serving the family of Mr. Parks.