In Memory of





Obituary for Tom Harper Parks Jr.

HEADLAND. . .Tom Harper Parks, Jr., a resident of Headland, died Monday afternoon, June 19, 2023, in the University of Alabama Hospital in Birmingham. He was 85.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. Thursday, June 22, 2023, in First Presbyterian Church, Dothan, with Pastor Rusty Milton officiating. Private graveside services for the family, with military honors, will be in Gardens of Memory with Pastor Jay Joye officiating. The family will receive friends from 10:00 until 11:00 A.M. Thursday in the church sanctuary. Holman-Headland Mortuary & Cremations is in charge of arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the charity of your choice.
Tom Harper Parks, Jr. was born in Drew, Mississippi, November 12, 1937, during the Great Depression. His parents were Thomas Harper Parks, Sr. and Mary Elizabeth Hammett Parks.
Tom entered Auburn University (then Alabama Polytechnic Institute) on an ROTC scholarship in 1955 and graduated with a BS in Aeronautical Engineering in 1959. Upon graduation, he began his distinguished 22 year U.S. Naval career. He saw duty in Vietnam and had notable tours of duty on the USS Constellation, USS Ticonderoga, and the USS Coral Sea. He also had notable tours in Washington State north of Seattle, New York out on Long Island, and throughout California, especially in the San Francisco Bay area, where he retired from the Navy, July 31, 1981.
After his retirement from the Navy, he moved his family to Headland, Alabama to be near his beloved in-laws, Mr. and Mrs. A.S. Hodges. He began an equally long career as an Aeronautical Engineer for a number of U.S. military contractors.
Tom met his college sweetheart, Martha Blanche Hodges, shortly after she entered Auburn University in 1957. They married 10 days after she graduated in 1960 and celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary last year.
Tom and Martha have four children. Tom Parks, III, of Tallahassee, Florida, has been married to the former Deborah Noe since 1985. They have given them grandchildren: Veronica Simmons, Lauren Brantley, Tom Parks, IV, and Evan Parks. All are married and have given them great-grandchildren: Tyler Brantley, Addison Brantley, Daniel Parks, and Jonah Parks. John Parks, of Durango, Colorado, is partnered with Chris Gamache. Ed Parks, of Orlando, Florida, is married to the former Grayson Haun. Both couples will celebrate their 30th anniversaries next year. Nydia Parks, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, clearly her father’s favorite, is the only one smart enough to be single and is happily domiciled with her two feline children.
Tom had wide-ranging hobbies and interests. He built their house, most of the furniture, the workshop, greenhouse, sewing house, car barn, and storage buildings on their property. He loved college football, big band music, model trains, antique watches, classic shotguns, old-fashioned cash registers, radio shows of his childhood, and he was overtaken with unfettered joy at the mere mention of his beloved Auburn University. Most of all, Tom loved his bride, Martha, with whom he danced to their favorite songs on 62 cruises, still walked their dogs hand-in-hand down their dirt road every day, and still acted like teenagers-in-love until the end.