The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

December 6, 2012

Clyde L. Parks


DANVILLE — Clyde L. Parks passed away Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, at the age of 90.

Known to family and friends as “Larry,” he was a lifetime resident of Danville. In fact, at age 87 he traveled to California with the intention of living the remainder of his life near his daughter. After 90 days he came to the conclusion that there was, indeed, “no place like home!”

Larry was married just 10 days short of 50 years when his wife, Anne (Axtell) Parks, passed away. Having never before boiled water, the family remembers him standing at the stove just three days after her death to make his own breakfast with the adamant statement ... “Well, I have to learn sometime, so I best start now!” This way of seeing and being describes how Larry lived and saw his world ... with an intense tenacity and perseverance.

His daughter, Rebekah, of Sacramento, Calif., knows this is the legacy he intended for her as she would pick up and carry this torch he handed her with the same reverence he himself carried this guiding force in his life. For much of his life he did not believe in working women. But a life lesson well-learned was the pride he felt in his daughter’s business savvy and in the gifts he saw her give back the world and humanity.

Larry worked at General Motors from 1948 until his retirement after 30 years of service in 1978, never recognizing then his retirement would total a greater number of years than his working life. He was a pattern maker and was deeply proud of honing and refining the quality of his work and in being given the opportunity to train others. In this respect, his family saw him as a “self-made” man. He adored tools of every type and variety, and his three other “loves of his life” were fishing, golfing and driving his 1966 Porsche. He has a plethora of fish stories and pictures worthy of telling to anyone and everyone that mostly all share the same current with his son, David, whom, in his last breath on earth, he loves as deeply as the day he was born.

Larry had three granddaughters, Erica Buckles of Danville, Linda Boothe of Saint Augustine, Fla., and Christina Parks of Wilmington, N.C. He has two great-grandsons, Vincent Earl Patella, of Danville, and Luke Boothe, of Saint Augustine, Fla.

For the final two years of his life, his granddaughter Erica moved to Danville from Italy to restore the family home and to oversee her grandfather’s care at the Hawthorne where he resided since 2007. She and Vincent were constant companions and were steadfast in assuring their grandfather’s life was the best it could be.

The family wishes to sincerely thank the nursing staff at the Hawthorne for traveling this last leg of Larry’s journey on earth. Bravo for a job well done!

Thank you as well to his dear friend, Jack Wilson, his “adopted daughter,” Sue Davis, and his telephone friend, Eileen Kilkenny, for their many hours of chats across the years.

Daddy deeply respected his attorney, Gil Garman, for the legal advisory given since his wife’s death. He trusted him implicitly and considered Gil his friend.

His send-off would not be complete without a fond farewell to the staff and customers at McDonalds and Steak ’n Shake as you know the deeper meaning of this remembrance!

To all who knew him well, he was a robust character and the stories of “Larry” will live on in the hearts and minds of those who shared this journey of life at his side.

Lastly, Larry was a deeply religious man and was a lifelong member of St. James Church where tithing was one of his greatest honors.

As a veteran of World War II, Larry will have a military send-off. His honor in serving his country — and GM — travels with him now.

He plans on “meeting-up” with his pet rabbit, Padsy, his numerous dogs and the many wild animals he nursed to health.

Most important, he left earth with the intention of meeting “Little Red”... his wife of 50 years, Anne Axtell Parks. Of course, traveling to heaven will be delayed for a brief stop-over for nine holes of golf along the way!

A celebration of Larry’s life will begin at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 7, at Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center, A Life Celebration Home, in Danville, with Justin Snider officiating. Visitation will be 10-11 a.m. prior to the service. His military burial at Danville National Cemetery will follow for immediate family and friends.

Larry wishes that in lieu of flowers that donations be given in his name to the Danville Humane Society or St. James United Methodist Church.

Please join Larry’s family in sharing photos, videos and memories of him through his Tribute Wall at

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