Ronald Carl Parks
August 18, 1938 – February 28, 2019
Ronald Carl Parks was fond of asking people – family members, co-workers, strangers in line at the grocery store – how many pump jacks there are in Texas. The responses – 3,650? 13,274? 62,892? – prompted a chuckle from Ron and a swift lesson in oilfield terminology. “There is only one working pump jack in the state of Texas,” Ron would say with authority, sharing the information with that certain Texas-proud swagger. Ronald Carl Parks was born on Aug. 18, 1938, in Hobbs., N.M., to Okie Carl and Lena Mary (Hicks) Parks. He died on Feb. 28, 2019, in Odessa, Texas. Ron moved to Odessa in 1940, though most current residents wouldn’t have considered the old Trinity yards “town.” He attended local schools and graduated from Odessa High in 1956. He studied at Odessa College for two years before enrolling at Texas Tech, where he was a member of the Engineering Society and where he graduated in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Texaco immediately offered Ron a job, which he enthusiastically accepted. Soon after, however, the U.S. Army called, and Ron donned a uniform and served his country. After, he returned to Texaco, where he worked for more than 36 years in Houston, Texas, and Shreveport and Houma, La., before retiring in 1996. Ron was never bound to an office, though. He knew the ins and outs of oil fields and oil rigs and was knowledgeable in the workings of all manner of machinery. Ron returned to Odessa and his family home in retirement, and was known to many across the Permian Basin for his regular volunteer work at the Permian Basin Fair & Exposition and the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum. At the museum he was called on to answer the most sophisticated questions but also delighted in showing schoolchildren what “makes Texas work.” Beyond the museum he was known for his detailed work restoring old tractors and engines, which he displayed at shows around the region. Ron was a kind neighbor who was quick to lend a hand to those in need, and who walked and biked the streets and alleys picking up trash and items for recycling. Ron had a tall tale or knee-slapping joke for everyone, friend or stranger. He will be missed. Ron was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by two sisters, Jean Ann Emmons (Parks) and Mary Joyce Crie (Parks), three nephews, three nieces, and numerous cousins, other relatives and dear friends. A visitation will be Saturday, March 9, 2019 from 9:00a.m. - 1230p.m. at Hubbard-Kelly Funeral Home Chapel. A funeral service will be held at 1:00p.m. at Hubbard-Kelly Funeral Home Chapel on Saturday, March 9, 2019. Following the service there will be a reception with the family. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages a donation to the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum in Ron's name, 1500 Interstate 20 West, Midland, TX, 79701.
- Visitation Saturday, March 9, 2019
- Funeral Service Saturday, March 9, 2019