Age 91, died peacefully at his ranch home in Goleta, California, on Thursday, January 10, 2013, surrounded by family.
Born April 5, 1921, in the Parks Family home on what is now Earl Warren Showgrounds. A life time "sharecropper", Glenn sold fruit from his homemade farm stand on rural Modoc Road during the Depression. He graduated from Santa Barbara High School in 1939 and attended Shaffer College in Ontario. Upon returning from college he bought a used tractor and baled hay for Goleta farmers. He met his wife, Marilyn Hughes, on a hay ride with the Santa Barbara Riding Club. In order for them to marry, Glenn borrowed against his tractor and they married in 1946. The newlyweds moved to an old farmhouse on Storke Road where they raised tomatoes and barely for Tom Storke. Glenn and his tractor also worked in the post war effort to fill the Goleta slough around the airport.
Glenn and Marilyn moved to the Orella Adobe in Corral Canyon where they continued to sharecrop from Martin Erro in Corral Canyon and neighboring Venidito Canyon. Over the years he formed Parks Land and Cattle Corp. and leased properties from Tajiguas to Las Varas Canyon. In time, he moved from dry farming to lemons and finally to his beloved avocados. He also raised beef cattle and was a member of the Santa Barbara Trail Riders. Glenn was almost 50 years old when he and his wife, Marilyn could afford to purchase their own ranch. They bought the very ranches in Las Varas Canyon they sharecropped for years. Glenn helped found Mission Produce in 1983 and was on their board of directors until 2011. Glenn's success became legendary and he served on the California Avocado Commission and advised growers around California and Mexico.
Glenn was a proud man and loved what he did; believing he never worked a day in his life. He was tireless in his dedication and passion for farming and ranching.
He is survived locally by his son, Larry Parks (Donna) and daughters, Catherine Epperson (Roy), Lynn Axtell (Jim), and Carolyn Parks. Glenn has four grandchildren, Tim Parks (April), Jennifer Bishop (David), Nicole Martin (James), and Glenn Axtell. He also has six great-grandchildren, Alex, Austin, Aden Parks and Emma, Hannah and Ella Bishop. He is further survived by his sister, Margaret Mansfield of Langley, Washington, a niece and two nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years, Marilyn Parks.
Relatives and friends are welcome at the celebration of life barbecue planned for 12-4 p.m., on Saturday, February 16, at 650 Las Varas Canyon Road, Goleta (rain or shine). To leave online condolences, please visit www.wrhsb.com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Humane Society.
Glenn's family would also like to thank his caregivers, Lupe, Maria and Alicia, for their kind and loving care. They enabled Glenn to safely stay in his home and were very nurturing and loving towards Glenn. The family is eternally grateful for their exceptional care and for keeping Glenn comfortable and peaceful.