"Remembering Joe Parks: A victim of the Vietnam Conflict" By Thelma Smith Matagorda County TXGenWeb

Matagorda County TXGenWeb
A photo of Sergeant First Class Joe Parks.

   According to Ecclesiastes 3:1, 2ab, and 8 there is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven - A time to give birth, and a time to die; A time to love, and a time to hate; A time for war, and a time for peace. So whether one loves, hates, engages in war, or settles in a reign of peace; death is inevitable. All men must come to that end.
   So it was with SSgt. Parks during the Vietnam Conflict.
   SSgt. Parks represented a legacy of military men before him — his uncle Timothy Parks who was a victim of WW I; and many cousins and friends since him. 
   It was in his nature to service his country. 
   He served with all the dignity and perseverance that was a part of his training from his family, friends, teachers and commanding officers.
   Life was not always a bed of roses for him, but he accepted the hardships and disasters without relinquishing.
   His mother, Myrtle Clay married Joe Parks, Sr. Myrtle’s parents were Jess Clay and Merla Amy Clay. Joe Sr.’s parents were the Rev. Lee Parks (a pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church in the Cedar Lane area) and Patsy Boone Clay.
   Rev. Parks was a West Indies native, brought from South Carolina to the Bell Bottom Plantation in Matagorda County, Texas. 
   Lee Parks and Patsy had six boys: Isaiah, Elijah, Clarence, James, Timothy and Joe; and five girls: Ruth, Anna Lee, Callie, Amanda and Altonia.
   Joe was the father of SSgt. Joe Parks.
   After Patsy’s death, Lee Parks married Lillian Deadrick from the Wilson Creek Community. 
   Lillian helped in the rearing of SSgt. Parks.
   SSgt. Parks was born June 13, 1927 in Bay City, Matagorda County, and was the second child born to Joe and Myrtle. 

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