Donald Parks


Donald R. Parks, 82, of rural Oskaloosa, died Friday, November 25, 2022, at the MHP Hospice Serenity House in Oskaloosa. He was born October 25, 1940, at the doctor’s office in Brooklyn, Iowa, the son of Donald Wilson and Jennie Louise Otto Parks. He attended school in Brooklyn until his sophomore year. He earned his diploma from Montezuma High School with the class of 1959. He was united in marriage to Diana Applegate in Oskaloosa. To this union two sons were born, Michael Wade and Christopher Todd. Don and Diana later divorced. On September 23, 1982, Don was united in marriage to Judith Megrew, at Lake Keomah, in Oskaloosa. Don was honored to welcome Judy’s children: Jeff, Janese, Deb, and Scott into his family.

Early on Don worked as a mechanic at Whitaker Implement in Oskaloosa. In 1962, he purchased a farm southeast of Rose Hill and continued to own and manage that farming operation until 2004 when he rented out the farm ground. Later he decided that it was time to sell part of the farm to his stepson Jeff Gilliland. Though Jeff owned the farm, Don always looked forward to helping and offering “suggestions” always for the betterment of the farm.

He was a member of the Central United Methodist Church in Oskaloosa. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and camping. He had a lifelong love of aviation and flying. In 2014, he restored a 1946 Ercoupe which he enjoyed flying until he sold it in 2020.

His family includes his wife of over 40 years, Judy Parks of rural Oskaloosa; their children, Jeff (Cathy) Gilliland of Rose Hill, Janese (Curt) Smallwood of Tolleson, Arizona, Michael (Tracy) Parks of Kerrville, Texas, Deb (Rick) Warden of Montezuma, Chris (LaVette) Parks of Avondale, Arizona, and Scott (Tracey) Gilliland of Rose Hill; 21 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren, one great great grandson; two brothers, Richard (Dorothy) Parks of Orange, California and Roger (Dixie) Parks of Oskaloosa; and several nieces and nephews.

Don was preceded in death by his parents; a grandson; three great grandchildren; a brother, Robert Parks; and a sister, Sheryl Liehr.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, November 29, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. in the Central United Methodist Church in Oskaloosa with Reverend Chad Lierman officiating. Burial will be in the Garrett Cemetery east of Oskaloosa. The Bates Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements. Visitation will begin Monday after 11:00 a.m. in the Bates Funeral Chapel and the family will be at the funeral chapel from 5-7 Monday evening to greet friends and relatives. Memorials may be made to MHP Hospice Serenity House or Central United Methodist Church.

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