Fred Park Obituary


Fred Park passed away peacefully, surrounded by family. An avid bowler and Boston Red Sox fan, he also loved gardening and weightlifting – as well as taking his dogs for daily walks.

He spent three decades at UW-Madison focusing on school curriculum reforms that foster critical thinking and civic engagement, was an Eagle Scout, and enjoyed canoeing, fly fishing, and backpacking as a hobby.

He was a Farmer

Fred Parks was an enthusiastic farmer who deeply valued the land he worked on. He was always searching for ways to improve both his farm and those around him, as well as traveling frequently – his favorite destinations included mountain trails, alpine lakes, and fly fishing Colorado rivers. Fred was generous and kind-hearted – all who knew him will miss him dearly.

His family was his greatest joy; he had seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He served as a deacon at Alpine First Baptist Church and an elder at Tioga Baptist Church, as well as trustee and usher of Monumental United Methodist Church in Pittsburgh, Pa. Additionally, he was a member of Cromwell Lodge #572, F&AM of Orbisonia PA, Madden-Wennick Post 518 American Legion Rockhill Furnace PA, volunteering for the West Virginia Department of Agriculture as a volunteer while being part of the National Federation Farmers Union membership.

Fred was an honorable Korean War Navy Veteran and proud member of Teamsters 916 in Springfield and Arkansas Best Freight after retirement. Additionally, he enjoyed volunteering his time and talent at Live Oak Christian Church in Bluffton, SC, and RFD TV, as well as walking his two beloved canines on walks with him and attending rodeos with his cowboy hat firmly on. Fred will be missed dearly by all who knew and loved him. can be visited to read his obituary. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made in his name to Shamrock Cultural Charities at 2000 Brown St, Akron, Ohio 44319. Calling hours will take place Thursday from 5-8 PM and Friday 10:30 AM-11:00 AM before Mass at Queen of Heaven Church. His family would also like to express our deep gratitude and thanks for the care provided at St. Paul Home and St. Elizabeth Hospital; special thanks go out to Dennis Gloudemans and Mari Robinson, who have been incredibly kind during this difficult time. You are all in our hearts and prayers!

He was a Firefighter

Fred was an extraordinary individual with many talents: musician, cook, and home repairman all in one! Additionally, he served with both Prospect Park and Haledon fire departments as a dedicated firefighter; was an active member of both Rotary clubs (Prospect Park & Haledon), Paul Harris Fellow Councilman/Mayor in Prospect Park as well as president of Christian Camper’s Club; volunteer for Wycliffe Bible Translators North Carolina, etc.

Although he achieved much, his greatest pleasure came from spending time with his family – particularly with Gunilla as his love and guide. Additionally, he was a proud father to three daughters and a loving grandfather to four grandchildren.

He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him, especially his deep, raspy voice and hilarious sense of humor. Gunilla survived him, as did two daughters, Cynthia Lynne Taillon and Holly Chase Davis, as well as grandsons Brendan and Samantha, for whom he cared deeply.

Fred was blessed to enjoy a life filled with friends who shared his enthusiasm for Irish culture. Known for his immense intellect and quick wit – traits passed down from father to daughters alike – Fred also treasured his independence, never allowing anything or anyone to hold him back from reaching his goals.

Fred DeRuiter passed away peacefully at home in Monumental Community surrounded by his loved ones on June 5, 1935, in Miracle Run, Monongalia County, to James Wayman and Frances Gertrude Clovis Park (both deceased). He was the beloved husband to Joanna S. DeRuiter nee Bruxvoort; loving father of Frederick D. DeRuiter, Karen (Calvin VanEssen) VanEssen, and Ruth Veenema; beloved grandfather and great-grandfather to 11 and great-grandparent of 10. Phyllis Shuurman, as well as Brandt Herman Ralph and Marvin Bruxvoort (deceased), are survived by siblings, spouses, as well as nieces & nephews. He was an active member of Monumental United Methodist Church – acting as usher, trustee, and assistant Sunday school superintendent faithful member /usher/trustee/ assistant Sunday school superintendent; faithful member /usher/trustee/ASSCSSC/ASSC/ASSC he would provide regular usher/trustee/ASCDs, being faithful member/trustee/ASSC and assistant Sunday school Superintendent/ASSCs) were cherished brothers!

He was a Mechanic

Fred Parks was an esteemed and revered member of the Three Springs community. A respected mechanic who enjoyed working on various cars and household appliances, Fred also found time for friends and family, being an incredible host with an exceptional sense of humor who will surely be missed by all who knew him.

He was born in Troy, New York, and attended Averill Park High School before leaving to become a traveling musician after graduation. Besides performing as a musician across various locations around the US, he also had skills in home repair and carpentry, as well as being an incredible guitarist with an exquisite voice who enjoyed attending auctions and flea markets as a member of Snow Shoe Volunteer Fire Company.

After his military service was complete, Fred married Sylvia. Together, they moved to Newgulf, Texas, where Fred worked at Texas Gulf Sulfur Company, first as part of the field department and then in their machine shop. Once retired, he loved traveling, attending American Legion Post 54’s dances, and taking advantage of retirement programs like its Travel Program and American Legion Post 54 Membership in Freehold.

Fred was an incredible husband, father, and grandfather. An avid reader and puzzle player, he also enjoyed making jokes and passing on his hilarious sense of humor to his two daughters. A diehard Yankee and Giants fan himself, Fred also appreciated outdoor activities such as hiking with family or dining at Sweet Caroline’s in West Rutland, Vermont.

Fred was a gentle and considerate soul whom all who knew him will miss dearly. Always eager to help out and have family visit, he enjoyed playing board games together at various LifeQuest locations such as East Elm, Capitol Apartments Park Place, or his home at J&L house, where his love for his family members was never-ending; thank you all who made each day bright for him, and who hold him so dear in their hearts.

He was a Friend

Fred was beloved in his community and made many feel welcome and essential in their daily lives. He treasured spending time with his family, particularly his dogs; daily walks were something Fred looked forward to with them both; he even joined the Ancient Order of Hibernians to celebrate his Irish roots! In addition, he served Monumental as trustee, usher, and assistant Sunday school superintendent!

He enjoyed hunting and fishing as much as golfing; he was a longstanding member of Snow Shoe Country Club and actively took part in his children’s sporting events, cheering them on at baseball fields across town and enjoying hunting trips in Wyoming with them.

He was an outstanding family man, a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle to those he knew well. His legacy will live on through subsequent generations – he was an outstanding leader and will be sorely missed by all those he touched.

As Fred was an advocate of organ and tissue donation, his family has requested any memorial contributions in his honor be sent directly to either Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Donor Services, PO Box 4072 Pittsfield MA 01202, or Cure Alzheimer’s Fund 34 Washington Street Suite 310, Wellesley Hills Massachusetts 02482.

On August 3, from 2:00 PM until 4:30 PM, family and friends can gather at Deer Park Mangano Family Funeral Home to offer their condolences to Fred’s family. Following his service on August 4, Fred will be laid to rest at Saint Charles Cemetery in East Farmingdale.