Stanley Parks passed away on June 4 at the age of 98 in Spokane. A native of Chicago, Illinois, Stan was preceded in death by his wife, Eleanore (Norie) Parks, father Stanley Pisarski, mother Lillian, brothers Joseph and Edmund, and sister Lillian. Stan lost his father and oldest brother at the age of nine and pursued his life’s journey as if they were watching him race to achieve one accomplishment after another.
Raised in North Chicago, young Stanley was a good student, swimmer, and manager of the Harper high school baseball team. He worked at Rexall Drug store making milkshakes, soda, and assisted in mixing pharmaceuticals. Next, he gained employment at the Paul Studio where he developed his photography skills and worked at school events and weddings. His earnings aided him through college and beyond. He entered Loyola University studying a pre-med curriculum before enlisting in the Navy and serving in WWII. At age 21, he entered the Officers Training Program at Notre Dame and moved on to the Okinawa Naval base. As a Lieutenant, Stan took a keen interest in Navigation and reading the stars aboard his LST, an amphibious Landing ship that carried equipment, tanks, and marines to shore. He was eventually recognized by the Ship’s captain and promoted to the Navigator position for the rest of his tenure. He completed his 18 months of service and returned home to Chicago.
Through his friends at the Paul Studio, Stan met the love of his life, Norie and they married. He attended Loyola Dental School in 1946. Three years later, they had their first daughter, Noreen followed 15 months later by a son, Stanley Jr. In June 1950, Stan received his dental degree and moved to Aurora, Illinois to buy his first home with Norie and set up a successful practice which lasted 32 years.
Stan and Norie had two more children: Diane in ‘54 and David in ’58. While Norie raised the kids at home, Stan developed his dental business and made many friends that enabled him to join several community charitable organizations. He served in his Church Altar Society, Knights of Columbus, Navy League, and Board of the American Cancer Society & Aurora Paramount theatre. In 1964, he became President of the Lions Club. He became involved in politics, eventually becoming a delegate for the nomination of President Ronald Reagan.
In ’83, Stan retired to Fort Myers, Fla. His love of the sea compelled him to buy a 42’ Trawler and earn a Captain’s license. He boated from New Jersey to Florida and made numerous crossings to the Bahama islands in the “Bermuda Triangle.” His deep love for his wife was exemplified by naming his boat the “Lady Norie.” Stan and Norie loved their trips, activities, and vast network of friends in Florida. They joined Kiwanis together and Stan was named President of the Iona chapter in 1992-93.
During his retirement years, Stan taught clinical Dentistry at Northwestern and helped the Aurora Catholic Men's high school: Marmion Military Academy establish a missionary dental clinic in Solala, Guatemala. He and Norie made numerous trips where he spent 2 to 3 weeks performing missionary dentistry on the impoverished Mayan people. His work consisted of extractions and fillings to relieve pain for the native people and improve their dental care. The children and parents were deeply appreciative and Stan was filled with pride and gratitude at being able to serve them.
With Norie’s passing in 2011, Stan was heartbroken and through family coaxing, moved to Spokane where his son David and wife, Theresa reside. Stan moved to the Touchmark community and started a new life. He reinvigorated himself and developed new friends. He joined the Spokane Downtown Kiwanis Club becoming President in 2015-16. He joined a writers club and writing became his passion. At 93, he published his first novel, Jakob’s Ladies followed by a sequel, Jakob’s Legacy. He loved his final 10 years at Touchmark and his friends at Our Lady of Fatima and the community of Spokane.
Stan is survived by four offspring: Noreen, Stanley, Jr., Diane, and David; seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. A funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, June 15, at Our Lady of Fatima Church (3327 S. Perry, Spokane) to be followed by a reception at the church. A burial service will take place at the Washington State Veterans Cemetery June 17th at 9 am (21702 W Espanola Road, Medical Lake).
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A Memorial Tree was planted for Stanley