My father Kelley Neal Parks was diagnosed with Stage III Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer in May of this year. He was a very private person, so many of you probably weren't aware of his diagnosis until it progressed to Stage IV in October, and spread to his brain, back and pelvis. He passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Friday, November 20th, 2020 - two days before moving up to Maryland to live with me and 8 days before his 67th birthday. He is missed more than we can ever truly express, and this Thanksgiving (his favorite holiday) will be difficult for everyone who loved him.
Any of you who knew him knew he was a fighter - he continued roofing up until about a month prior to this death, insisting that he didn't want to be a burden on anyone (and despite our frequent reminders that family - by blood or by choice - is there to take care of you when you need help). He was fiercely independent to the end, and very proud of it. Even though he could be ornery (something one of his nurses said to me with great fondness) and greatly valued his privacy in regards to his cancer, I know that he loved his chosen family fiercely and was glad to have reconnected with so many people these past few months.
His greatest love apart from me and my sister was horses, and we were lucky enough to inherit that from him (along with some of his good looks, he loved reminding me). He was a former Marine Corps Sergeant, and his last wishes were to be cremated and interred in Arlington National Cemetery. I have so many memories and stories of his love for the Marines, and his immense pride at being one of those few. He never felt as at home as he did among other Marines.
I'm setting up this gofundme as his power of attorney and next of kin. If you are able to help, we would greatly appreciate it. All fees are going directly towards the cost of his cremation and the various services related to that. Any additional help will go toward fees associated with interring his ashes in Arlington. If you would like to send funds directly, please reach out to me. This year has been hard for all of us, so we aren't expecting anything, but any little bit helps. <3
Thank you in advance. If you aren't able to donate, we ask that you take a moment to think of him this Thanksgiving and have a drink in his honor. He wanted the people who loved him to celebrate his life, rather than mourning his passing.
- Debbie & Mark Mosher
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