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Joseph's Story

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IPSWICH -- Joseph W. Parks passed away peacefully on Dec. 6, 2017, at 91, at Seaview Retreat in Rowley.
A loving and generous husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Joe leaves behind his wife of 23 years, Rosemary Parks; and three children, Laurie (George) Fransway, Scott (Rosie) Parks and Sandy Parks; as well as two step-children, Jeffrey Perkins and Valerie (Jeff) Pleasant. He also had six grandchildren, Barbara Fransway, Michelle (Colin) Deeds, Joseph Parks, Nicole Parks, Ryan Bivens and Dylan Bivens; and five step-grandchildren, Julia Perkins, Kim Perkins, Phillip Perkins, Cody Pleasant and Luke Pleasant. He also leaves two great-grandchildren, Caden Deeds and Amia Deeds.
Joe grew up in Toledo, Ohio, and Larchmont, N.Y., and called Ipswich home for more than 35 years. He was born on June 30, 1926, to Dorothy and Joseph Parks. He had one younger sister, Barbara Parks Taft, who has since passed away. He graduated from Larchmont High School, but missed his graduation ceremony to serve in the U.S. Army in World War II.
Upon discharge, he attended Bowling Green University and immediately started work at GTE Sylvania after graduating. He worked there for about 35 years until retirement. He married Patricia Neff in 1952 and they had three children.
He met Rosie in 1979 and she fell in love with his smile and his honesty. They married at their Ipswich home in December 1994 in front of close friends and family.
Joe was active in the Ipswich Veterans of Foreign Wars, Rotary Club and was honored to march in the local Memorial Day and Veterans Day parades. He volunteered at Ipswich High School as part of the "chain crew" at football games. He also belonged to the Salem Country Club and the Ipswich Bay Yacht Club, where he served in various leadership roles. He enjoyed gardening and chasing away the deer that disrupted his fruits and vegetables. Joe loved skiing with his kids and taking his family on his boat to Middle Ground, Plum Island and Crane Beach. He was known for putting an excessive amount of salt on all his food, especially popcorn, and grilling his famous "Joe Burgers," although his grandchildren much preferred the pancakes he made for them after sleepovers at his house.

Family and friends celebrated his life at his Ipswich home on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 10. A more formal ceremony led by the VFW will be held at a later date. The family also plans to satisfy Joe's wishes to spread his ashes off Plum Island Sound this summer. Assisting the Parks family is the Morris Funeral Home of Ipswich. To send a condolence to the family please go to www.MorrisFH.com.
Published on December 12, 2017
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