James Leroy Parks
11-01-1932 - 02-15-2017
James Leroy Parks, 84, passed away in his sleep on February 15, 2017. Born in 1932 in Tacoma to Roy and Margaret Parks, Jim was the oldest of 3 children. At age 14 his family moved to Calistoga, California where he ran track and was a tumbler. Four years later he moved back to Tacoma and graduated from Stadium High School. In 1951, Jim joined the army and served with the radar group on San Clemente Island, where he took up boxing. He served on active duty for 2 years, and in the reserves until 1960. In 1954, he began attending Glad Tidings Assembly of God in Tacoma where he met and married Donna Mani in 1958. They had five children and were married 19 years before divorcing. Jim was employed by Boeing as a model builder and worked at the Wind Tunnel Facility for 36 years, retiring in 1992. He wrote dozens of humorous short stories featuring characters resembling his co-workers: The Adventures of Duke Slaughter, Pastor & Gunslinger. These stories became very popular among the Wind Tunnel group. He loved his job and the people he worked with. After retiring, Jim traveled with friends all over the world. He ran several long distance races including the Seattle marathon and enjoyed bowling, hiking, lifting weights, playing tennis, working on cars and raising chickens. He also loved a good sermon. Jim attended church regularly with his long-time significant other, Sally Bair. The couple dated for over 35 years, and enjoyed many fun times together. He took long road trips in his little blue Del Sol to visit family in Oregon, Arizona, California, Kansas and Texas. Jim is survived by his sister Elizabeth, his sons Steven, Philip, and Jordan, seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren. His memorial service is being held at 1:00pm on March 2, 2017 at Experience Church in Puyallup. Memorial contributions may be sent to Food for the Hungry (www.fh.org).
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