Marquette, MI – Edward Cordell Parks, age 89 of Marquette, died peacefully with his family by his side on Sunday, June 2, 2013 at Jacobetti Home for Veterans, following a recent illness.
Ed was born December 18, 1923 in Marquette to Lloyd and Bessie (Cordell) Parks. He lived in London, England until 1934. He then lived in Kiva, MI and attended Kiva grade school and was a 1942 graduate of Trenary High School. Upon graduation he joined the United States Marine Corps and was a member of the 4th Raider Battalion, he served until honorably discharged as a Corporal in May of 1946. During his military duty he was in the southwest Pacific and participated in the invasion of Bougainville Island, the assault and capture of Guam, and the consolidation of the Northern Solomon Islands.
On February 10, 1948 he married Betty Jane Beaudry and relocated to Marquette in 1949, where they raised their three children, Larry, Mike, and Brian. Ed worked for close to 30 years in various roles at K. I. Sawyer until retirement in 1983. Ed was also a former member of the Marine Corps League and past president of the local NFFE (National Federation of Federal Employees). Ed had many interests and hobbies in life and was known as an avid Packer backer. Ed and Betty enjoyed traveling over the years and for a time lived the life of “snow birds” by wintering in Arizona, several lasting friendships were forged during those times. During his camping years Ed loved sitting by the campfires with his family and riding his bike. He enjoyed playing cards, board games, putting together puzzles with his children, grandchildren, and friends and sharing endless jokes. Many special memories have been made over his 89 years and will be forever cherished. But, Ed’s greatest joys were watching his family grow; he always sported smiles of pride when he saw his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In spite of his recent illness Ed was able to participate in the Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. this spring with his son, Larry. It was a wonderful experience for him at a time when it was sorely needed. Ed will always be remembered by his family as hard working, reliable and honest, and acted with integrity in all that he did. In his younger days Ed did his own home repairs, home remodeling, worked on his own car, and fixed just about anything that broke. He helped neighbors and friends in the same way. His legacy is that he taught his sons to be fair, honest, self-reliant and independent and to help others when help is needed. His legacy will continue through his children’s children. Ed, being a good and humble man was deeply respected and will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
Ed is survived by his wife of 65 years, Betty Jane (Beaudry) Parks, his sons, Larry (Joanne) Parks of Marquette, Mike (Denise) Parks of Marquette, and Brian (Linda) Parks of Comstock, MI, his grandchildren Jaime (Shane) Kentala, Kelly (Jon) Wirth, Shannon (Brandon) June, Mike (Kim) Parks, Michelle Parks, Stephanie Parks, and Keith (Melissa) Parks, and three great-grandchildren Abe and Eva Kentala and Andrea Jo Parks. Ed is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews and many great friends, especially his very special companions at Snowberry Heights.
We, the family of Ed, would like to extend thanks to: the doctors and staff at Marquette General Hospital, the staff and special friends at Norlite Nursing Center, the Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home, for the organizers and volunteers of the “Honor Flight” and for the special care the doctors and staff at Jacobetti Home for Veterans provided for Ed. “God bless you all and thank you!” Graveside services will be held at Park Cemetery on Wednesday, June 5, at 9:00 am with Rev. Leon Jarvis presiding. A reception will follow in the reception area located at the Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home from 9:30 am until 11:30 am Wednesday morning.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to UP Honor Flight.