Gerald Theo Parks
May 4, 1934 – January 9, 2021
A graveside service for Mr. Gerald Theo Parks, age 86, of Oxford, Alabama will be held on Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 12:00 PM at Anniston Memorial Gardens officiated by Kennith James and Dr. Gregory Mayberry with Chapel Hill Funeral Home in charge.
Mr. Parks finished his long and notable life’s journey on January 9, 2021 at Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center after a long illness and experiencing complications related to Covid-19. He is survived by his companion of 41 years, Sharon Patterson Taylor; his daughter, Janis Parks Hunter (Donnie), and their three children: Jake, Lauren, and Rachel; several nieces and nephews, and the many friends, neighbors, and former neighbors of Creekside Farms Estates, who became his extraordinary extended family during the past twenty-two years that he has made his home there. He is preceded in death by his mother, Rachel Ingram Parks, and his siblings: Agnes Cochran, Alene Smith, Edna King, Geraldine Naumann, Ollie Otte, and Jimmy Parks.
Pallbearers, both active and honorary, will be family friends Greg Feazell, Chad Usrey, Lance Hill, J.W. Hill, and current and former residents of Creekside Farms Estates, including the families of Bill and Cindy Williams, Mike and Tonya Sargent, John and Diedre Blue, Mike and Laura Gaines, Kenny and Pam Stratton, Alex and Anita Davenport, Ralph and Mary Bradley, Mike and Lesley LaPlante, Rodney and Dana Minton, Shad and Lisa Williams, Phillip and Stacy Morrison, Tony and Kim Bolton, Robby McCormick, Elaine Kirkland, Amy Ledbetter, Jimmy and Joy Webb, and Anthony and Cristy Humphries, just to name a few.
After Gerald started working at age 9 at local grocery stores to help his mother support their family, he then served most of his professional life in the Labor Movement, entering the Union in 1950 at Anniston Foundry. After serving his local Union in several leadership capacities, he became a union representative for the International Molders and Allied Workers Union, AFL-CIO-CLC, which eventually merged with the Glass and Pottery Workers (GMP). He attended numerous “Labor School” education programs at the University of Wisconsin, West Virginia University, the University of Alabama and Indiana University, The Southern Labor School and the George Meany Center for Labor Studies. After travelling throughout the United States and working tirelessly with labor workers to win wage increases, establish health and life insurance plans, secure better pensions, and eliminate unfair labor practices by organizing unions in various plants and foundries with a phenomenal 67% campaign success rate, Mr. Parks retired in 1995 from the Glass Molders, Pottery, Plastics, and Allied Workers International Union with 45 years of dedicated service.
The family would like to thank nurse Michele Alldredge with Amedisys Home Health Services, Dr. Gregory Mayberry, Dr. David Mooney, Dr. Mike Gaines, long-time family friend Arlie Brown, his two caretakers: Amanda O’Dell and Laura Smith, and nurses and entire medical staff of Covid Unit 2 at Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center.
In accordance with the current state-mandated health order, guests are kindly asked to be responsible by wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.
It was Mr. Parks’ request for no flowers to be sent.
It’s been a good life- blessed in so many ways It’s been a hard life- it’s been tough some days. It’s been a sweet life that’s come my way. It’s been a good life in so many ways.
It’s been a long life- I couldn’t count the days. It’s been a short life- time has slipped away. It’s my life, and I have to say It’s been a good life in so many ways.
I’ve looked at life from a mountain top. I gave my all for all I got. Through the good times or when times were bad I always gave it all I had. I’ve had dreams come true, dreams fall away. I’ve cried tears of joy and tears of rage. I’ve had things go right and things turn out wrong, But the best of life I’ve found in a song.
Life’s been good to me. Life has hurt me deep. I’ve laughed a thousand times. I’ve cried myself to sleep. I still have regrets, and some debts to pay, But it’s a good life in so many ways.
-And I did it my way!
Saturday, January 16, 2021
Gerald Theo Parks
January 13, 2021
My heart is heavy and broken today for the loss of this great man. I have wonderful memories of my visits to Anniston visiting with Uncle Bub. He was always such fun and showed you a really great time. He always had jokes and funny stories to share. His laugh was contagious. He left a lasting impression on everyone he met. He was an encourager. He lived life. Peace and comfort in the days ahead to Sharon, his children, grandchildren and Brance as you grieve. Heaven will never be the same. Rest in peace. We love you. Cathy and Dustin