Mr. Parke retired as a senior specialist project engineer at White Rodgers. He was a United States Air Force veteran and served in the Korean War. He was a volunteer for the Smithton Fire Department for more than 71 years, serving as a captain, chief and district trustee. He enjoyed dressing as a clown on Halloween and giving out candy at the fire station for 25 years. Mr. Parke was instrumental in helping establish the 911 system in the area. He was a bingo caller for more than 30 years, and an avid hunter and fisherman. He belonged to the Catholic War Vets and the Smithton Sportsman’s Club and was a life member of the National Rifle Association. John was the devoted primary care giver to his wife for the past several years. He loved his family beyond measure and hosted countless holiday BBQ’s. He was a great listener and always put others needs before his own, even in bad health.
He was preceded in death by two daughters, Ann Marie Parke and Mary Ann Parke; two sons, Anthony Joseph Parke and Mathew Paul Parke; his father, John Russell Parke, his mother and stepfather Kathryn B., nee Huetel, Ittner and Edward J. Ittner; two brothers, Edward G. “Bud” Ittner and Gary Ittner; a sister, Audrey Snyder; a son-in-law, David “Boog” Kreher; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Carl and Lillian Schaefer; and in-laws, Marilyn and Paul Fournie and Janice Schaefer and Sandy Ittner; and a brother-in-law, Lanson Cox;
Surviving are his wife of 66 years, Dorothy A. Parke, nee Schaefer, whom he married on July 1, 1953;
a daughter, Cathy (Alan) Schilling;
two sons, John C. (Ruth) Parke, and Charles E. (Dawn) Parke;
11 grandchildren, John (Brittney) Lanham, Joe (Casey) Russell, Meghan Kreher,
Russell Parke, Holly (Jon) Mueth, Stephanie (Rob) Gill, Hannah Parke, Savannah Parke, Gabrielle Parke, Heidi Parke, and Miley Parke;
ten great-grandchildren, John Brantley, Aubry, Gunnar, and Gauge Lanham, Sadie,
Isaiah and Lainey Gill, Hailey Parke, Claire Brennan, and Tria Russell;
step grandchildren, Krista Schilling, Amanda (Andrey) Rudomiotov,
and Jesse Schilling;
step great-grandchildren, Mila and Sonya Rudomiotov;
a sister, Margaret (Bob) Bradford;
a brother, Warren Ittner;
a sister-in-law, Janet Ittner;
brother-in-law, Fred Schaefer;
and an uncle, Garrnet Parke.
Memorials may be made to the Smithton Volunteer Fire Department. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.
Visitation: Friends may visit from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday, December 30, 2019, and from 11 a.m. to noon Tuesday, December 31, 2019, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Smithton, IL. A Fire Department walk thru will be held at 7 p.m. Monday at the church.
Funeral: A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at noon Tuesday, December 31, 2019, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Smithton, IL.
Burial with military honors will follow at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, MO.