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Obituary: Philip Norman Parks

As received from the Erickson Crowley Peterson Funeral Home:

Philip Norman Parks passed away on September 17, 2019 at home surrounded by his loving family. He was born in his family home in Newberry, Michigan in 1932. He was the son of Philip Grant and Anna Louise Parks. He graduated from Newberry High School in June 1951. He then attended Michigan Technological University and graduated in 1955 with a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and later with his Master of Science degree in nuclear physics. He also did additional graduate work at the Kansas State University. 

During high school, he played football as a running back for four years and for three of those years he was on an undefeated team. That team was later inducted into the Michigan High School Football Hall of Fame. He later went on to play for Michigan Technological University on a football scholarship.

Following graduation from MTU, he worked for five years at NASA in Cleveland and then returned to MTU to teach physics for 35 years. Following retirement, he and his wife enjoyed traveling and visiting family all of whom were very precious, and much loved by him.

Phil published several physics articles in professional journals, conducted research for the US military, and contributed to the writing of a book that prepared engineers for their professional exam. He was interested in genealogy and served as a zone leader for a number of years for the Parks Society. His family first came from England in 1630 aboard the Arabella. He was also a member of the Sons of the Union of the Civil War and served as an officer for several terms.

Phil has always been active in Christian Service. As a student at MTU, he was active in the Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship and served in various capacities in the churches wherever he lived. He had served over 50 years as a deacon, Sunday school superintendent, and youth leader. He also served with the Gideon Bible Society for many years. 

He was united in marriage to Judith Mae Liimatainen in Aura, Michigan on October 22, 1955. He is survived by his wife Judy, son Norman G., daughter Coleen K., and son Evan D..  He is also survived by his son Norman’s stepdaughter Sarah (Ryan) McNair and their two children, Caden and Liam. His daughter Coleen’s grandchildren, Joy (Konrad) LaPrade and their three children, Kathryn, Jonah, and Elizabeth; Peter (Maria) Ulrickson and their two foster sons, Andrew and Elijah; Juliann (Pato) Velez Saeteros, and their two children, Anna Teresa and Greta; Valerie Aalto and her two daughters Molly and Addilyn. He is survived by Evan (Carrie) Parks’ children, Kelly and Luke.  He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded by his parents and his father and mother-in-law Kathryn Liimatainen and his three sisters Illona Fahler, Phyllis Fillman, and Lois Johnson. 

Funeral services will be held at the First Baptist Church of Calumet on Saturday, September 21. Visitation will be from 11 am to 12 pm, with the service to follow at 12 noon at the First Baptist Church. Lunch will be provided. Arrangements will be made by Erickson, Crowley, Peterson Funeral Home in Calumet. Burial will be at a later date at the Aura cemetery.

Online condolences can be left for the family at www.ericksoncrowleypeterson.com

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