News Item: Val K. Parke
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Val Kent Parke
Val Kent Parke Sr., 77, passed away Wednesday, March 12, 2008, surrounded by loving family.
Val lived a full and rich life, filled with love, hard work, church service and devotion to the things he held dear. His remarkable life began Dec. 26, 1930, in Hailey, Idaho. He spoke fondly of his memories of growing up in Carey with his parents, Noel Eldridge and Clarice Mae Parke, and his twin brothers, Dar and Doug. He developed a strong work ethic as a boy working on the farm, which served him his entire life.
Val attended Idaho State University after high school and even played a season of football before he served a two-year mission to Uruguay for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. When he returned home, he attended Brigham Young University and joined the AFROTC (Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps) and graduated with a bachelor\'s degree in business management. A short time after he graduated he received orders to report for active duty for four years.
While at BYU, he met and married a lovely California girl, Sherry Roth. To hear him talk about how they met and describe their lives together gave the story a magical quality that has been admired by many that knew them. They lived in several places as their family continued to grow. They were blessed with five beautiful daughters who filled their lives with sugar and spice, and two sons at the tail end who provided a great deal of entertainment and comfort in their later years. Val provided his family with the material things they needed as well as spiritual and moral guidance. He was a leader in the truest sense of the word. He led first, and always by example. With a gentle, guiding hand he helped each of his seven children to complete a higher education. This loving guidance even extended to many of his children-in-law.
In 1996, Val\'s beloved wife Sherry lost her battle with cancer. He mourned her loss deeply and perhaps it was his deep love for her that caused him to seek and find the companionship of another fine woman, LaVana. She doted on Val and was a constant companion until the very end of his life.
His love, faith and dedication to Jesus Christ were at the core of his character and guided him through life as a father, husband, friend and in other various roles. This devotion also brought him to serve three full-time missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He was first called to Uruguay as a young man; then with his wife and five of their seven children, he served as a mission president in Tempe, Ariz.; and later, he and his wife, LaVana, served as Church Education System missionaries in Austin, Texas.
Val was an honest businessman and ran several successful businesses throughout his life, but perhaps those who know him best will remember him for his constant, steady influence for good, his wisdom, his integrity, his sense of humor and love for a good-natured practical joke, his uncanny ability to start water fights with \"his girls,\" or his undying love and devotion to his family.
Val is survived by his wife LaVana; his seven children, Becky (Chris) Waddoups, Tammy (Kim) Gundersen, Pam (Tom) Burbie, Sheryl (Devin) Skinner, Kim (Calvin) Lloyd, Val Kent JR (Tami) Parke and Matt (Tana) Parke; 30 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren (with three more expected soon); and his brothers, Dar and Doug. He was preceded in death by his wife Sherry.
Memorial services will be held Wednesday, March 19, at 2 p.m. at the Carey LDS Church. Burial will follow at the Carey Cemetery.
Local arrangements are under the care of Wood River Chapel of Hailey.
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