Samuel Thaxter (Sam) Parks of Scarborough, Maine, died unexpectedly on Saturday, November 17, 2012 in Portland, Maine. He was 90.
Born on June 1, 1922, the son of Ward Jackson Parks and Marion Whitley Parks, he grew up with his two sisters, Nancy and Joan, in Sherborn on their family farm, “Century Farm.” He attended Sawin Academy in Sherborn through his junior year of high school and graduated from Newton High School in 1941.
Sam was in the Merchant Marines during World War II in both the Atlantic and Pacific campaigns and served on a Liberty Ship that convoyed to Normandy two weeks after the D-Day invasion to unload supplies for the invading troops. He was a member of the National Maritime Historical Society and an avid reader of maritime history.
In 1946, he returned to Sherborn and with a partner started a machine shop, Century Manufacturing. He soon branched out on his own, owning and operating Pegasus Co. in Holliston until retirement in 1987. He handled varied jobs for both large and small customers in the greater Boston area and took great pleasure in finding practical solutions to difficult projects.
He married Nancy Webber Gould of Worcester in 1954. They lived in Holliston and then Sherborn with their two children, Roswell and Elisa. The family summered on Marthaʼs Vineyard at the family cottage in Oak Bluffs until 1972 after which they resided in a cottage he built at Hines Point on the Lagoon in Vineyard Haven.
His joy of sailing carried throughout his life. For many years he sailed with his family in Vineyard and Nantucket Sound and along the East Coast in his 26-foot sloop “Pegasus” and later sailed in Vineyard Haven Harbor in his 16-foot gaff-rigged sloop “Skrap” built at the Marthaʼs Vineyard Shipyard in the early 80s. He especially enjoyed participating in races as a member of the Holmes Hole Sailing Association.
His wife, Nancy, died in 1990 and in 1992 he married Portland, Maine, native Margery Bayer and moved to Scarborough, Maine, where they enjoyed 20 years in retirement, traveling extensively around the United States and Canada, including trips to Alaska and Newfoundland. He spent his free time on both metal and woodworking projects in his large home workshop, and he particularly enjoyed his volunteer work with the South Portland High School U.S. First Robotic Team, often commenting on what great training it was for young people in learning skills and gaining an understanding of the trial and error world of engineering that he encountered in his own career.
Sam was predeceased by his parents, his first wife, Nancy, and his two sisters, Nancy Parks Freeman and Joan Parks Mott. He is survived by his wife Margery Bayer Parks of Scarborough, his son Roswell Jackson Parks and his wife, Gail, of Seneca Falls, N.Y., his daughter, Elisa Parks Natichioni, of Vineyard Haven and four grandchildren Kyle, Ryan, Marina, and Marc Natichioni.
Sam was a strong presence in the lives of all who knew and loved him. Always a true gentlemen, he enjoyed being with his loving family (a dog always included), nourishing longtime relationships, and cultivating new friendships as he traveled through life.
He was a highly respected member of the three communities in which he lived: Holliston/Sherborn, Marthaʼs Vineyard, and Scarborough. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 24, at 2 pm in the chapel at the First Congregational Church, 301 Cottage Road, So Portland, Maine.
Donations in Samʼs memory may be made to South Portland Robotics, c/o South Portland High School, 637 Highland Avenue, So. Portland, ME 04106. Online condolences may be offered at www.directcremationofmaine.com.