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Brown Award winner F. Newton Parks, 1917-2010

W. PALM BEACH, Fla., December 15, 2010 -- F. Newton Parks, owner of a farm near Middleburg, Virginia, for many years, died at the age of 93 on November 25, 2010, in West Palm Beach, Fla., of natural causes. He had been ill for some months prior to his death, but he had been well enough to have visited his beloved Fauquier County, Va., home as recently as this past summer. At his bedside was his devoted wife, Dorothy Ahlgren Parks.

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F. Newton Parks
1917 - 2010
Tech graduate, Brown Award winner, prominent executive and family patriarch


Mr. Parks was born in Brooklyn, New York, on June 14, 1917, the son of Newton Allen Parks, a construction supply contractor, and Josephine Quinn Parks, an elementary school teacher. He grew up in Freeport, on Long Island, and was a three-sport star at Freeport High School, especially excelling in basketball and tennis. He was also president of his class and the class valedictorian.

After high school, he went West and enrolled in the mining engineering program at the New Mexico School of Mines, in Socorro, N.M. (now New Mexico Tech). During his time at the School of Mines, he was again a multi-sport athletic star as well as student body president and winner of the 1939 Brown award, the university’s highest award for scholastic achievement and student leadership. He was a four-year member of the M Club and served as treasurer during his senior year. He also served as the editor of Gold Pan, which was then the student newspaper, for two years.

After college, Mr. Parks began his far flung career as a mining engineer and mining consultant, which career later took him to Alaska and Montana in his 20s and to China in his 80s, with many foreign stops in between. During World War II he studied at Harvard Business School and consulted with Army intelligence on anti-aircraft systems. He and his first wife, Anita Jackson Parks, during those years lived with their first two children near Fenway Park and befriended many of the 1940’s Red Sox ballplayers, including Dom DiMaggio and Ted Williams.

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F. Newton Parks
As a senior at New Mexico School of Mines, pictured in the golden anniversary edition of Porphyry

After the war, Mr. Parks moved his family to his boyhood home in Freeport and joined Sperry Rand and later Booz, Allen and Hamilton management consultants. At Booz, Allen he quickly became one of its rising stars, and youngest principals, and he enjoyed a long career with the firm while living in Chappaqua, N.Y., and Cleveland, Ohio, and later in London, England, and Zurich, Switzerland, as Director of European Operations. He also spent extensive time in the Middle East in those years and after retirement. Towards the end of his career he resided and worked in Rio de Janeiro and in New York City, finally retiring in 1979. After retirement he continued to work on various independent consulting projects all the way up to his China assignment in his 80s.

Throughout his career, Mr. Parks continued to excel at his tennis game, and in his retirement he became a golf enthusiast, although with somewhat less success than his tennis accomplishments. At the time of his death he was a member of the Everglades Club in Palm Beach.

Mr. Parks was also an accomplished Sunday painter throughout his life, exhibiting at various local shows. In his retirement he became a self-published writer of dozens of humorous pieces and short stories and a personal memoir. At the time of his death he was in the process of editing a compendium of his writings.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Patricia Diana Parks. His marriages to Anita Jackson Parks and Barbara Williams Parks ended in divorce. In addition to his beloved wife, Dorothy Ahlgren Parks, he is survived by his four sons, F. Newton Parks Jr., of Aspen, Colorado, J. Randolph Parks, of Halfway, Va., Peter Jackson Parks, of Taos, N.M., and Addison D. Parks, of Lincoln, Mass., and his daughter, Denise Kurtz Parks, of Charleston, S.C., as well as 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, all of whom will very much miss his presence as family patriarch and caring person.

Memorial services for Mr. Parks will be conducted in Palm Beach, Florida on January 6, 2011, at the Everglades Club and in Middleburg, Va., at a later date, followed by interment at the Middleburg Cemetery.

-- NMT --