Robert Gene Parkison, 84, of Tunkhannock, known as Bob or Parky to friends and family passed away on October 21, 2021 at Geisinger Wyoming Valley.
Bob was born on January 25, 1937, in Charleston, Ill. He was the son of Robert Victor and Lucille
Jourdan Parkison. He was a graduate of University of Illinois and was a commissioned 2nd
Lieutenant in the Air Force.
After his sophomore year in college Bob decided to take a year off from study, and first took a summer job at the George Williams College Camp on Lake Geneva, WI. It was there he first met his future life mate, and they were married two and half years later on December 27, 1959. For the rest of the year of hiatus from college he worked for Pillsbury Mills in the Futures Division at the Chicago Board of Trade.
During schooling the couple lived in Urbana IL, and for a summer in Cicero IL. After Bob's college graduation and commissioning in the Air Force the family continued residence in Urbana, IL; then Bellmead, TX, near James Connally AFB and Waco; Rancho Cordova, CA, near Mather AFB and Sacramento; Merced, CA, near Castle AFB; and on Seymour Johnson AFB, near Goldsboro, NC; before moving to the Tunkhannock Area in 1969.
He served eight years of commissioned service and nearly eight years of active duty with the U.S. Air Force. After navigation training in Texas, electronic warfare training and crew training in California, and survival training in Nevada, he spent five and half years flying aboard a B—52 out of Seymour Johnson AFB in NC; and earned a star on his wings by logging over 2,000 hours in flight. Although being airborne over most of the Northern Hemisphere, Bob only set foot on the ground outside the U.S. in Puerto Rico.
He and family left the military and moved to the Tunkhannock Area in February, 1969. Bob retired from Procter and Gamble after over 26 years of service, mostly spent as a Process Engineer, May 12, 1995.
Bob's intense interests throughout his life were sports and community service. In 7th grade he was a member of the Jefferson Junior High State Softball Champions, and a regular season undefeated basketball team. When he graduated from high school Bob held basketball records for both most points scored in a season and a career. He was also the first athlete in his high school to earn 11 varsity letters in four years when only four sports were offered. In college he participated in freshman basketball and baseball at a time when freshman was not eligible for varsity competition. After that his sports' participation was directed toward intramural levels in college and the military.
In the year hiatus from college study Bob managed a Pony League team and the all—star team in Maywood, IL, for two summers; in the military a Babe Ruth League team and all— star team in California; and a Little League team in Tunkhannock.
When the Tunkhannock Baseball Association withdrew its teams from the Roosevelt Trail Little League to form its own Little League, Bob became the first League Commissioner of the Tunkhannock Little League. He later became Commissioner of the Tunkhannock Senior League. During his time on the Tunkhannock Baseball Association, he was Tournament Director of the District Senior League Tournament for several years; and on short notice he assumed the role of Tournament Director of the State Senior League Tournament for one year. He also served as Vice President of the Tunkhannock Baseball Association.
In 1982 Bob left involvement with the TBA, and became involved with the Keystone State Games, the first year as a volunteer in the media center, then took the role of Competition Director and continued as a volunteer or part time employee for a total of 27 years. In 1984 a National Congress of State Games was formed and an annual symposium established, hosted each year by a different state. When Bob retired after the 2008 KSG he was the only person from the 50 states who had attended every symposium.
In 1996 Bob enjoyed a highlight in his sports' experience when he worked as a volunteer at the Centennial Anniversary Olympic Games in Atlanta. He worked the volleyball venue in the old Omni, and was only yards and an hour away from where the explosion took place in the common area. Bob worked the volleyball venue at a pre—Olympic event in Atlanta in 1995; and as a Field of Play Marshal in 1996 at the main event.
In June, 2018, Bob was the seventh person inducted into the Keystone State Games Hall of Fame, with the ceremony held in the State Capital Building in Harrisburg.
Bob took and passed the officials tests for baseball, basketball and football on the same day. He worked high school baseball competition for 25 years, and served as chapter rules interpreter the last few; and worked basketball and football for over ten years. When WEMR came on the air Bob was part of the initial crew to broadcast football games, mainly Tunkhannock, but some Lackawanna Trail, Montrose and Wyalusing. He served initially as a stat man, but then worked color and play—by—play. Perhaps the notable broadcast was of the "Ice Bowl", an Eastern Conference playoff game versus Berwick in sub—freezing temperatures. In over ten years on the air, he also broadcast Tunkhannock basketball and playoff baseball games.
For over ten years Bob wrote an article for the Tunkhannock New Age, titled "Out of The Park”. It appeared on the Sports Page and mainly dealt with sports, but also included descriptions of his frequent travels and in a few columns’ commentary on current issues.
A long—time member of the Walter B. Tewksbury Memorial Committee, he assisted for many years in the conduct of the Track & Field Developmental Meets at the high school; helped promote the committee's activities; and was present at the presentation when Dr. Tewksbury was inducted into the Pennsylvania State Sports Hall of Fame.
Bob was President of the Kiwanis Club of Tunkhannock in the 1974—75 Kiwanis year, and a member since November 1969; and honored with the Hixon Award for his community service. He was chair of the first sponsored Easter Egg Hunt in 1973, and chaired the efforts of the Endless
Mountains Downriver Canoe Race for several years. He was a founding member and secretary of PACK — Pennsylvania Association of Canoeing and Kayaking.
Bob was a charter member of the Kiwanis Wyoming County Fair Board of Directors formed for the renewal of the Expo in 1986, and remained on the Board until 2018. He was Fair Secretary from the outset until 2000. For one year he assisted the State Fair
Association by writing the state newsletter. He handled the pre—sale ticket program from the first year through 2017.
Bob was a member of the Wyoming County Bicentennial Committee headed by George Gay in 1975—1976, and helped plan and execute several local celebration activities. He was a member of the Dennis Strong Post 457 of the American Legion.
Bob is survived by his wife of 62 years, Dorothy Sharon Falk Parkison, three children, Scott (Marilyn) Parkison, Tunkhannock; R. Lowell Parkison (Yvonne) Parkison, Gilbert, AZ, and Mary Parkison of Tunkhannock; nine grandchildren, Charlea Pedro, Ross Parkison, Reid Parkison, Kelley (John) Lindsey, Victoria Womer King (Jesse), Joseph Moffitt, Nicole Parkison, Colleen Parkison and Anna Moffitt; fourteen great-grandchildren; Mackenzie, Maxx, Wyatt, Madilyn and Nickolai Pedro; Keegan and Paisley Parkison; Gavin, Evan, Molly, Charlotte and Lyle Lindsey; Lincoln and Elwin King.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his two sisters, Virginia Biggs and Nancy Haiduck.
Family and friends are invited to attend Bob’s funeral service which will be held on Tuesday October 26, 2021 at 5:00 PM from the Sheldon-Kukuchka Funeral Home, Inc. 73 W. Tioga St. Tunkhannock, PA 18657 with Reverend Tinny Hutchinson Rupnick presiding.
A viewing will be held from 3:00 PM until the time of service on Tuesday.
His graveside funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, October 29, 2021 at Roselawn Cemetery, Charleston, Illinois. Local arrangements: Harper-Swickard.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions can be made to the Tunkhannock United Methodist Church, 4 Church St. Tunkhannock, PA 18657.
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