Edward S. Parks Jr., 83, Major, US Army retired, of Glouster, Mass., passed away on Wednesday, January 25, 2023.
He leaves behind his wife and companion of 39 years, Thelma A. (Silva) Parks.
Born in Gloucester, the son of E. Sumner Parks Sr., and Florence E. Parks, he attended local schools and graduated from Gloucester High School, Class of 1957.
Ed attended the Citadel, the military college of South Carolina, graduating in 1961 with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.
He was also at this time designated as a Distinguished Military Graduate and was appointed a commissioned officer in the US Army Transportation Corps, thus beginning a distinguished 22-year military career.
In the United States, he served tours of duty at Fort Lewis, WA, Fort Eustis, VA, Fort Stewart GA and Fort Devens, MA. Over half of his career was spent in overseas assignments including Germany, Okinawa, Vietnam, England, Alaska, and South Korea. His citations include the Bronze Star Medal (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (two awards), Meritorious Unit Commendation (three awards), National Defense Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. In addition to his numerous citations, he was awarded the Expert Infantry Badge, Parachutist Badge, Ranger Tab, Rifle Expert Badge, 4 Overseas Service Ribbons and 4 Overseas Service Bars.
Upon his separation from the Army in 1982, he returned to Gloucester to become the Director of Public Works, where he served for the next 5 years. He then worked as the Clerk of Works for the reconstruction and expansion of the East Gloucester Elementary School and Veteran’s Memorial School, the rehabilitation of Maplewood Park, and then Logan Airport Sound Abatement Program.
In 1995, Ed returned to the DPW as the Operations Manager for the Central Services Division, where he stayed until in 1999, but was requested to stay on in a part-time capacity as the seasonal Grounds Maintenance Supervisor for Stage Fort Park. Nine years later he was again requested to move to a new position where he assumed responsibility for the seasonal operations of the parking lots at Stage Fort Park, Good Harbor Beach and Wingaersheek Beach, where he stayed for 5 years until he fully retired in 2012.
Ed was noted for his untiring work ethic with much of his energy in retirement being devoted to what he referred to as missionary work, to which he gave generously of his time and efforts; examples being his work on the Gloucester Fishermen’s Cenotaph Committee, where he headed the construction sub-committee, 5 years of conducting the middle-school student dances at the American Legion Hall and 12 years serving as trustee for the American Legion Scholarship Trust Fund.
Ed was a longtime member of Gloucester Lodge of Elks, Gloucester Fraternity Club and the American Legion, where he served 2 terms as the Post Finance Officer. In his leisure time he enjoyed taking several ocean cruises, snowmobiling, hunting, fishing in Alaska and traveling extensively.
He will be greatly missed by his best friend his wife, and his family.
Ed is survived by his wife, Thelma and their children, Jodi Tyne, Jill Hale, wife of Robert, and Tracey Schlichte wife of Mark; his 2 sons, Edward and his wife Yvonne of Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, Christopher and his wife April of Olympia, WA and daughter, Shawna of Surrey, British Columbia, Canada; 11 grandchildren, Billie-Jo (Richard) Fintel, Erica (Paul) DiSantos, Jeffery Roesel (Nicole Votano), Eliana, Gavin, KennedyLee, Nolan of Olympia, WA, Anja, Max, Kurt of Surrey, BC, Canada and Ed’s very special granddaughter, Amanda-T Schlichte (Jake Hennessy); 2 great-grandchildren, Olivia and Beckett DiSantos; nephews, Merit and wife Jennifer, Michael and wife Lee Ann; niece, Malia and wife Terry; great-nieces and great-nephews Katlyn, Stephanie, Crystal, Grace, Kayleigh and Henry.
His Funeral Service will be held in St. John’s Episcopal Church, Gloucester on Friday, February 3, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. Relatives and friends are cordially invited to attend. The burial will follow in Beechbrook Cemetery, Gloucester.
Visiting hours in the Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington Street, Gloucester will be held on Thursday, February 2, 2023, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Please omit flowers.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made in his name to Care Dimensions, 75 Sylvan Street, Danvers, MA 01923 or to Cape Ann Veterans Services, City Hall, 9 Dale Avenue, Gloucester, MA 01930. Please make checks payable to Veterans Services.