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John Parkin

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JOHN WILBUR PARKIN John Wilbur Parkin died June 4, 2003, in Atlanta, GA following his final courageous battle with cancer, a disease he initially conquered over 50 years ago. He was the recently widowed husband of Clyle Parkin, and was a beloved father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. The body has been cremated and memorial services are private. Messages of condolence may be sent to the online Guest Book at, and those wishing to make donations in his memory may do so to King's Bridge or A.G. Rhodes at Wesley Woods, both in Atlanta. John was born April 10, 1918 in Rochester, MN, the son of Verta and Wilbur Parkin. He was a 1938 graduate of Rochester High School and attended the University of Minnesota, before moving to Marshfield, WI, to take over the family business, Parkin Ice Cream Company. That year he married his high school sweetheart, Clyle Mundahl, and the couple later had two children, Susan Parkin TeStrake and Todd Parkin. John was an active community participant, serving as Chairman of the Wood County Board of Supervisors and as a Representative to the Wisconsin State Assembly, where he served on several committees, three in the leadership position. John was the President of the Marshfield Rotary Club, President of the Marshfield Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the First Presbyterian Church (Marshfield) where he also served on the Board of Deacons. John was President of the Wisconsin Independent Dairy Association from 1956-1963, and was the Vice President of the National Independent Dairy Associations (NIDA). At the time that Parkin Dairy was sold to the Morning Glory Division of Consolidated Badger, there were local facilities in Marshfield, Medford and Merrill, Wisconsin. The company was the first in the state of Wisconsin to obtain 100 percent of it's milk from farmers using bulk tank trucks, and the first area to be certified Grade-A. It was also the first company in the area to process and distribute solely in single service paper containers. After serving as Manager of Morning Glory, John worked for many years as the Director of Sales for the Nelson Jameson Corporation. Following his retirement, John moved with his wife to Cedar Park neighborhood in Atlanta to be near family members. The couple eventually moved to King's Bridge, a retirement facility where John lived until his death. While at King's Bridge, John served six years on the Resident's Council, one as President. He was also active in computer activities there, documenting historic pictures of his friends for their enjoyment. Of all his many activities, John Parkin was most proud of accomplishments that helped mankind. He started the first Cub Scout troops in Marshfield, was District Commissioner, Vice Chairman, and Camping Chairman of Samoset Council BSA. In 1945 when he received the national Silver Beaver Award for Outstanding Service from the Boy Scouts of America, he was the youngest recipient to receive this award. John served on many Human Services/Welfare Boards in the state of Wisconsin, as well as state licensing committees and in emergency government positions. John received an Honorary Future Farmers of America award, and was honored by the Rotary Club at a special banquet for Service Above Self. He would like to be remembered as someone who loved being a father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He loved dogs and cats, traveling, working in his yard and maintaining his home, and after he was no longer physically able to do this, he delighted in being a computer buff. John was a devoted husband, and is survived in Atlanta by his daughter and son-in-law, Sue and Bernie TeStrake; granddaughter and grandson-in-law, Rebecca and Drew Graham, and great-granddaughters, Emma and Kate. Todd Parkin and his family live in Seneca, SC.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on June 9, 2003
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