Napoleon “Charles” Parks

Funeral services for Napoleon “Charles” Parks, 69, Lawrence, KS, will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, August 20, 2011 at the First Presbyterian Church in Lawrence, KS.  Burial will follow in Oak Hill Cemetery in Lawrence.  Pastor Leo Barbee, Jr. will be the officiant.  He died on Friday, August 12, 2011 at his home in Lawrence.

He was born on November 9, 1941 in Lawton, OK, the son of Clemmie Charles & Ruby Wilson Parks.

Charles graduated from Lawton High School and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education and a Master’s Degree in Administration from Wichita State University.

He taught four years in Wichita before moving to Lawrence and working as an assistant principal at Lawrence High School from 1971-1998 and Lawrence Free State High School from 1998 until his retirement in 2004.

He was a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha social fraternity.  He served as a board member for the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Board and the Douglas County Visiting Nurses Association.

He was an avid golfer and gardener. He loved cooking, playing poker, and entertaining family and friends.

Charles married Ella M. Myers on August 8, 1970 in Wichita, KS.  She survives of the home.

Other survivors include a daughter, Gale Marie (husband, Michael) Turner, of Lawton, OK, two sons, Charles Clifton Parks, of Omaha, NE, Terrance Victor Parks, of Overland Park, KS, a sister, Linda (husband, Gordon) Piper, of St. Louis, MO, a granddaughter, Brittini Turner, Lawton, OK, a grandson, Tyson Miles Baldwin-Parks, of Overland Park, KS and a host of other relatives and friends.  He was preceded in death by his parents.

The family will greet friends from 6-8 p.m. Friday, August 19, 2011 at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence.

The family suggests memorials in his name to the Grace Hospice and may be sent in care of the mortuary.

46 Condolences

  1. Leo & Helen Barbee on August 13, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Ella we love you and your family and pray that God will hold you in His arms and let you know that Charles is at home with Him.
    God bless you.

  2. Shoheen Bolin on August 13, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    It has saddend my heart to hear that Mr. Parks passed. My prayers go out to all of the Parks family. May you find peace and comfort in one anothers arms in this most difficult time.

  3. Lexi Florez on August 14, 2011 at 1:04 am

    I feel very lucky to have known Mr. Parks, he was an incredible man! He could brighten anyone’s day!

  4. Cheryl Alexander on August 14, 2011 at 1:40 am

    Mr. Parks was wonderful man who inspired many. He will be missed dearly. God bless the Parks family during this difficult time.

  5. Kari Hardman McCune on August 14, 2011 at 9:23 am

    I am so sorry for you loss. Mr. Parks was my Vice Principal at LHS from 1979-1982. I was a mixed up, messed up, kid and spent much time in his office. Mr. Parks helped me turn my life around by simply believing in me. I have never forgotten him. Thank you Mr. Parks, God Bless You.

  6. Tina (Rose) Roseberry on August 14, 2011 at 9:48 am

    I was so saddened to hear of Mr. Parks death. He was such a nice man and a memoriable part of my high school years. He always had a welcoming smile and will be greatly missed by all that had the pleasure of knowing him.

  7. Korianne Kaleikini Daboda on August 14, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Growing up with his son Charles, I had the priveledge to know Mr. Parks both as a father and as an Administrator at Lawrence High School. Mr. Parks had a smile that always made me feel welcome. I am saddened by the passing of Mr. Parks and my thoughts and prayers go out to Charles, his siblings, and his mother.

  8. Michelle Garling Young on August 14, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Ella and family, our thoughts and prayers are with you. When we think of Charles we think of Jazz music, Oklahoma sports and that food! Now the pain is gone and he can breathe free. We love you.

  9. Amber Reagan-Kendrick on August 14, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Charles Parks will always be remembered in my family. My children spoke highly of him and I had profound respect for him as an administrator and person. Our sincere condolences.

  10. Kathy Barlow Westmoreland on August 14, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    My condolences to the Parks family. Mr. Parks was a positive influence in so many lives during his career, including mine. His sense of perspective and humor, tempered with firmness when needed, made him a wonderful administrator for high school students. Well done good and faithful servant!

  11. Linda Pickerel on August 14, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    I had to go to his office once, but I don’t recall exactly what for anymore, what I do remember is that he was kind, and after all isn’t that ultimately what people remember? What a blessing and support he was to students, and probably all who knew him. Prayers for the family.

  12. Betsy Lienhard Scott on August 14, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Ella and Family – I am so sorry for your loss and Lawrence’s loss. I want you to know you all are in my prayers. Charles touched so many of us while we were at LHS and then remained a mentor for years after. I will so miss seeing him at the many sports events around Lawrence. Ella please know you have so many thinking of you and if you need anything let us know. God is there for you and your family!! God Bless you all.

  13. Rob Edmiston on August 14, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    As a former LHS grad (1981) I really enjoyed Mr. Parks. I remember how encouraging and fun he was when we played pick up basketball in he fall befre he basketball season started. He always seemed to be in a great mood and was always smiling. I know that the students all genuinely loved him. I am saddened in reading of his passing but am thankful to have known him.

  14. Barbara Tuckel-Wolford (Barbie) on August 14, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Mr.Parks was a wonderful man. He was my assistant principal at Free State and treated myself and many other students with dignity and respect. For that I respected him! Truly sorry for your loss.

  15. Ryan Devlin on August 14, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    My deepest sympathies to your family. I am so sorry for your loss. Mr. Parks was Assistant Principal at LHS when I was a student there between 1992-1995. He always had a way to make me laugh and feel good about myself in in the midst of the chaos of high school. He was a true friend to all students. Rest in Peace, Mr. Parks. May the Lord bring you comfort and peace in this time of loss. God bless you all.

  16. Scott Burkhart on August 15, 2011 at 8:24 am

    To the Parks family:

    It was with tremendous sadness that I read of the passing of Mr. Parks. As a graduate of the LHS class of ’73, I recall Mr. Parks as a true gentleman. He was always fair minded in his dealings with the students and his demeanor was always one of compassion and empathy. I would see him at different events over the ensuing years and whether he remembered me or not he was always cordial and shared a moment to say hello. I will miss seeing him at Eagle Bend as will the other golfers as well. God shared him with us for a while now he has returned to share eternity with God.

    Scott Burkhart

  17. Lori Miller Wilken on August 15, 2011 at 8:35 am

    So sorry to hear of your loss. He was a great educator and will be missed. My love to the whole family.

  18. Becky Carey on August 15, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Gale and Family,

    My deepest sympathy on the passing of your Dad. Your memories will keep him with you forever.

  19. Pam, JD and Chance Taylor on August 15, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Gale, our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

  20. Linda Carter on August 15, 2011 at 9:57 am

    You are in my prayers

  21. Joe Edmonds on August 15, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Ella and family, my sympathies to you all. Charlie was a wonderful man and my life was richer for knowing him. He made the world a better place. Charlie will truly be missed.

  22. Carol Khoury on August 15, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Ella and family,

    How sorry and shocked I was to hear of Charles’ death. Please know that you all have my deepest sympathies and prayers for comfort to sustain you through your grief and loneliness.

  23. Joan Van Nice on August 15, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    I was shocked and saddened when i heard that Charles had passed away. My deepest sympathy goes out to Ella and the family.

  24. Bonnie,Ronnie,Anthony Shegog on August 15, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    We always thought of Charles as our brother. Our love and deepest smpathy for the Parks’family. We love you Butch and remember you in a very special way.

  25. Susan Herschell- Butcher on August 15, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    He was a very nice man that cared so much for the kids in school he was always there to help if you needed him.I graduated in 1983 and it was always a exciting day at LHS with MR. PARKS

  26. Zabrina Payne on August 15, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    Terrance and family,

    I am very sorry for your loss. Mr. Parks was a very warm, charismatic and kind person and I know he will be missed by so many people. My thoughts are with you.

    Deep condolences,
    Zabrina Payne

  27. John Van Nice on August 15, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    To Ella, “Little” Charles and Terrance: I am so saddened by the news of the untimely loss of Charles. I have been reflecting over the past few days of the many memories of our 10 years as neighbors on Melholland Road. Basement parties, poker games, golf expeditions, trips to the race track, etc, etc. Will always remember the smile and hospitality of the Parks. My boys will always remember “Buddy Buddy”. He will always live on in our hearts.


  28. Karen Vespestad on August 16, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Dear Ella:
    We were saddened to learn that Charles passed away. He was a good man and will be sadly missed by many people. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time.
    Karen and Gary Vespestad

  29. Lynn and Susan Metzger on August 16, 2011 at 8:02 am

    We are so, so sorry to hear of your loss. Charles will always be in our memories as the quiet, thoughtful, respected, and fun person he was. Although we didn’t see him often, we considered him a special friend who will not be forgotten.

  30. Willie Guest on August 16, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Charles and I grew up together in Lawton, Ok. We were some of the first Blacks at Lawton High–We were the first to play basketball at our school–Charles was our leading scorer . I grieve with the family in this loss–I am sure that he is with his loving Mom at this time.
    May God bless and keep you!

  31. Maya (Payne) Vance on August 16, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Mr. Parks touched so many lives. I wish you all peace and strength as heal from this loss.

  32. DEE HUMPHREY on August 16, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Gale and family, you are in my thoughts and prayers at this time of loss. I know what you are going through and how hard it is to lose a loved one, but just know he is in a better place now and his suffering is over. Rejoice in the knowledge that you will all be together again one day. God Bless.

  33. Wm. Gerald "Doc" Henderson on August 16, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Ella and family,
    Charles and I grew up in Lawton. He was my classmate and friend. I am deeply saddened by his death. My prayer for you is to depend on your faith to see you through this. God will take care of you.

  34. Gregory McGee on August 16, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Charles (Butch) was one of my favorite cousins. I will always remember our many games of Monopoly. He was very good. In fact, I don’t think I ever beat him at that game. I’ll miss him.

  35. Patrick Rooney on August 17, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Mr. Parks was a funny guy. He was my asst. principal at Free State High School from 1999-2001. He would always make you laugh. Even his bad side or strict side made you laugh! He was always there to help you ranging from getting to class ontime, to talking with you about anything. When I couldnt play football anymore due to injury, I started skipping alot of school b/c I couldnt play. Mr Parks instead of yelling or getting down on me sat me down and talked about what was triggering my skipping, then went on to helping me. The world lost a great guy! He was also my mothers asst. principal at Lawrence High School in 1977. She also remembers how funny he was! Prayers to family and friends from your Free State High School Family!!

  36. Unice Stevenson Smith on August 17, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Ella, Thinking of you and your family in the loss of your love one. You are not alone in your sadness – warm thoughts and deepest sympathy are with you. I will keep you in my prayers.

  37. Mr. Kim R. Wrench on August 18, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Dear Ella and Family,

    I am so sorry for your loss. I was a member of the Lawrence High School graduating class of 1974. I was student body president and I will never forget the support Charles gave me while being in Lawrence and in high school. I will continue to pray for you all and do know that Charles truly made a difference in my life and many others.

    Mr.Kim R.Wrench

  38. BOBBY &JACQUELINE EVANS on August 18, 2011 at 2:37 pm


  39. Josephine Keys Family and Sam Harrison Family on August 19, 2011 at 7:03 am

    We are sorry to hear of your loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Always remember that God will forever sustain you, nor has he forsaken you because he will always comfort us in our times of need.

  40. Janice Dunn on August 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    It was my privilege to work as administrative assistant to Charles at Free State from 1997-2003. Some of the things I remember most were our conversations about our Fort Scott connections and watching him practice his golf swing in the office hallway and grill hamburgers/hot dogs on his famous grill. Above all, he was kind to the students and had their educational interests at heart.

    My prayers are with you and your family.

  41. Myra Jones on August 19, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Mrs. Ella, I just want you to know that you and your family will always be in my prayers. I pray for comfort, understanding, and peace. May God continue to bless you. myra

  42. Kay Sheaffer on August 20, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Dear Family,

    I just wanted to tell you how sorry I am for your loss. Mr.Parks was a great man he helped me so much in life. when I was in school and when my son was in school at Free State. I always knew if I had a problem he would be there such a giving man. He will be missed

  43. Stephanie and Rick Attig on August 20, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Dear Mrs. Parks and Family,
    I am so sorry for your loss. Charles was a wonderful person. I will cherish the memories I have of him while teaching at Lawrence High. May you find peace in knowing that he made a difference in the lives of so many people! God Bless and comfort you all.
    Stephanie Attig

  44. Rosemary Cox Shinnick on August 20, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Terrance what a blessing having Mr. Parks as a father. The “father” figure he was to Ryan will not go forgotten.

    Ella, what a rock solid marriage shared between two terrific people. Though your loss is profound, you have so many wonderful memories of time spent together…and that will be with you always.

    To all the family just know that “with every story you tell, and every memory you share…Charles Parks lives on through you”.

  45. Carla D. Jones on August 24, 2011 at 9:14 am

    We are grateful and humbled by the generous donations made to Grace Hospice on behalf of Napoleon “Charles” Parks. To date, friends and family have donated over $1200.00!!!

    Grace Hospice took such good care of Charles. They were truly a blessing to our family. Jennifer, Charles’ nurse, was an angel dispatched for his care.

    We thank you for your generous gifts.

    The Parks Family

  46. Cara L Zdravkovski on June 11, 2020 at 9:53 am

    Dear Ella, I’m sorry this is so late in paying my respects. You have been on my mind as of late. I worked at Scots LTD in Lawrence during my years at KU. Eventually becoming Mgr and District Manager. You were such a blessing to me. Your love of your husband, family and community was a true example of what a women should be. I only met Charles a few times at the store but felt I knew him through your stories. I feel truly blessed to have had you in my life. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Love, Cara Anderson now Zdravkovski

Leave a Condolence