James L. Parks
James L. Parks
James L. Parks, a World War II veteran passed away peacefully at home in El Verano on June 19, 2012, at the age of 93. His wife, Evelyn, of 55 years preceded him in death on Jan. 20, 2000.
James was born in Princeton, Minn., on May 27, 1919. He was the third of six children born to James and Hildur Parks. He was raised in Minnesota and graduated from Aitkin High School. He joined the Navy in December 1939 and served until November 1945. In 1942, during a port call in New York, he met Evelyn Hansen. They were married July 1944. In 1945, they moved to Northern California. He chose to live in beautiful Sonoma Valley.
While working at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, he built his home and also opened a small auto electrical repair business. James is best known as the owner of Jim & Jim’s Yamaha, a chain that grew to five family run motorcycle dealerships.
James’ latter years were dedicated to honoring veterans. He was the driving force in the development of the Sonoma Veterans Memorial Park Cemetery and a major contributor to the “Star of Honor” fountain, a focal point within the park. In the last years of his life he has been working towards a national recognition of the “Veterans Remembered Flag.”
James is survived by his seven children, James E. Parks and wife, Carmen; Ruth Chambers and husband, Ken; Duell Parks and Josey Shun; Leighton Parks; Alan Parks, Janice Hall and former husband, John and Ella Steinberg and husband, Steve. He is also survived by 12 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Lorraine and Carolyn; numerous relatives and his special companion, Evelyn Spediacce.
Funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday June 25, at the Sonoma Veterans Memorial Park. Visitation will be on Sunday, June 24 from 1 to 6 p.m. at Duggan’s mortuary. Donations may be made in the memory of James Parks to the SVMPA (Sonoma Veterans Memorial Park Association), P.O. Box 153, El Verano, CA, 95433.