Gary E. Park July 22, 1935 - April 30, 2009 Resident of Oakland Gary Park, seventy three, an admired and memorable figure in local news and sports broadcasting and the voice of Giants Baseball in the Bay Area for over a decade has died. Ronda, his wife of 48 years, was with him at his bedside. Gary was born in Stockton, California to George Park, a Southern Pacific Railroad engineer, and Ellen Park, a homemaker and bookkeeper. He grew up in Tracy and graduated from Tracy High School in 1952 where he was active in drama and public speaking. Gary went on to San Jose State University, where he graduated in 1956 with a degree in Political Science. He worked on the Southern Pacific railroad during summer breaks from college. He served in the US Army from December 1956 until December 1959. During that time, he was sent to language school and became fluent in Arabic. He was stationed in Europe and Africa. While Gary was stationed in Ethiopia, he began broadcasting on the Army base radio station and also did play-by-play broadcasts of the baseball games that were played on the base between the soldiers' teams. After his discharge from the Army, Gary returned to California and started work for KCRA Channel 3 in Sacramento as a reporter and later as a news anchor. In 1965 he moved to Chicago and along with Jim Ruddle became co-anchor of Park-Ruddle News, Chicago's first "News Team" on WGN television. Returning to California in 1967 he began work with KTVU Channel 2 as the anchor of The Ten O'Clock News. In the early 1970's Gary became the KTVU sports director and this eventually led to his becoming the play-by-play announcer for the San Francisco Giants. He traveled with the Giants from 1974 until his retirement in 1987 while still maintaining his position as sports director. Gary had many interest outside of sports. He was an avid reader and a fan of the theatre and museums. He spent his retirement years traveling, relaxing in the sun and frequenting the local jazz scene. He also enjoyed wine-tasting and visiting local wineries. Always the gentleman, Gary was calm, cool, and easy going. He will be greatly missed by those who knew him. In addition to his wife Ronda, Gary is survived by his daughter Julie Park, grandchildren Jacob, Joey and Alexandria Sparks, great-granddaughter Ruby Saucedo, sister Barbara Park, niece Lori Dobbins and nephews Rob and Joe Dobbins. He was preceded in death by his son Barrett Park.
Published by Inside Bay Area on Jun. 21, 2009.