The kind and gentle heart of W. B. (Bill) Park gave out in the early hours of Jan. 2, 2021, as he made his journey from this life to the next. After persevering through several health issues for years, he died peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family.
Bill was born in Sanford, Florida, in 1936 as the youngest son of Dr. and Mrs. C. L. Park Sr. He graduated from the University of Florida with a major in art and completed graduate work at New York's School for the Visual Arts. After working in New York and Atlanta, Bill moved back home and married his high school sweetheart Eva Kratzert (Evie) in 1961.
Bill was a well-known international cartoonist, writer and illustrator. He opened his Park-Art Studio in Orlando in 1963. He had over 60 cartoons published in The New Yorker magazine, and his sketches graced the pages of Harpers, the Smithsonian Magazine and the Nation. For over 30 years, Bill was also the artist in residence for the Litigation Journal of the American Bar Association. In addition to his cartoons, Bill wrote six children's books. He also traveled and wrote articles for Travel and Leisure, Saturday Review, Sports Illustrated, and many other publications.
Bill's professional work was witty and ironic; he delighted at poking fun at the ridiculous. But in his private life, he was passionate about public policy and social justice. He marched, protested, and wrote articles about his fierce fight against injustices. He made sure to stand up for what he believed in – no matter the cost. He was a faithful advocate for the underprivileged through his wit and words, and he lived his life as a role model for justice and peace.
Bill's greatest passion, however, was reserved for Evie and his family. Evie was the love of his life, his soul mate, his best friend. They grew up together and reached their 59th anniversary this past Dec. 28. She was the calm, loving and steadying influence that balanced his artistic temperament. Their loyal and everlasting love stands as an example of what marriage should be and set the precedent for everyone who witnessed it.
In addition to Evie, Bill is survived by his son Chris (Kristy), daughter Anne-Marie (David) Miller, brother Robert (Sharon) in Arlington, Virginia, and eight grandchildren: Hailey, Madeline, Brittney, Sydney, Noel, Sophie, Logan and Austin. We'd like to think his eldest son Bryan, who predeceased him, welcomed him into the gates of heaven that fateful morning.
In lieu of flowers, donations are welcomed for the Park Lake Presbyterian Church and Grace Medical Home.
Published by Orlando Sentinel from Jan. 7 to Jan. 8, 2021.