Joseph Allen Parkinson died Saturday, July 25, 2009, in his 80th year, at home in Edgewater, Florida.
Born 10-04-1929 in Rhode Island Joe was President of his class and of the student council his senior year in high school. His class voted him the Best Personality, Most Popular, Best Pal and Best Dispositioned. During his working years and through retirement those traits remained. During his graduation speech he said, “Sometimes, while trying earnestly, we meet detours on the road of life. If we regard these deviations as a challenge, we shall meet life with greater determination – and eventually realize our dreams. In order to live as we have dreamed we must think clearly, live effectively and have a tremendous amount of faith.”
As Joe proceeded through life he stayed true to the words of his youth. In life and as a leader for 25years in the Vermont ski industry he met many challenges and always had clarity in the best direction to take and faith in his ability to get where he wanted.
In his retirement he said, “I am not afraid of getting older, I just don’t want to get old”. While breathing issues prevented him from being physically active he and Mary, his wife, had a life filled with adventure. Three days before his death they drove along the intra-coastal looking for alligators, they saw several including one really big one.
When Joe was asked what he wanted people to know he said, “That I am extremely grateful for the life I have lived … and that I love my family and am extremely proud to be their father and husband.”
When Joe was asked what he wanted his last day to be like. He said, “It would be like today, just another good day.” On Saturday Joe had a piece of fresh blueberry pie, his favorite, then died as he was about to cut the grass. True to his wishes Joe never got old, he lived life right to the end.
A few months ago Joe was asked what he wanted his epitaph to say. He responded, “He was a kind, thoughtful, generous, loving husband, father and friend.” He was indeed all of that and more.
A Memorial Service is planned for September 12 at the Sugarbush Resort in Warren, Vermont.