Richard (“Dick”) E. Parks died on Nov. 15, in Bedford, where he had recently moved to live with family. He was 90 and a resident of Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Sylvia E. Parks, in December 2018.
Born in Easton, Pennsylvania, on June 4, 1930, to Edward Parks and Evelyn (Frey) Parks, he lived most of his early life in Philadelphia. He graduated from Frankford High in 1948 and entered the R.O.T.C. at Temple University the same year, where he later earned his Bachelor of Arts in finance and commission as a second lieutenant in the Army Transportation Corps. He was promptly shipped out to Busan, Korea, on active duty for the duration of the Korean War. Military service continued to play a major role in his life, family members said. After his discharge from active duty, he remained a commissioned officer in the Army Reserves for over 20 years, ultimately attaining the rank of captain.
In 1954, he began a professional career that spanned over 40 years as a consumer lending officer at the Fidelity Bank in Philadelphia. Widely respected by colleagues, he served as the bank’s institutional memory through multiple management changes, including the acquisition of Fidelity by Wells Fargo. He retired in May 1997.
Mr. Parks was a Freemason, a Master Mason raised to the 3rd Degree in Philadelphia and eventually attaining the 32nd Degree Scottish Rite.
He and his wife were married in May 1957. They raised three children, who survive him: Stephen Parks (Ellen) of Austin, Texas, Kenneth Parks (Lucia) of Bedford, and Janet Shapiro (Paul) of Yardley, Pennsylvania. Other survivors include seven grandchildren and a sister, Phyllis Simons of Hatboro, Pennsylvania.
He was the primary caregiver for the last several years of his wife’s life, “performing solo duties in his late 80s that would have challenged anyone half his age,” according to his family.
A private military burial is scheduled for today, Friday, Nov. 20, at Forest Hill Cemetery where he is to be laid to rest next to his late wife. Plans for a public memorial service and celebration of life will follow once the pandemic subsides.
Charitable donations in his honor can be made to Masonic Charities, Gift Planning Office, One Masonic Drive, Elizabethtown, PA 17022 or online at masonicvillages.org.