January 9, 1921 - November 28, 2021
Lifelong Tacoma resident, business owner, and beloved uncle and friend Thomas Kay Parks passed away on November 28, 2021 at his Tacoma residence. The youngest of three children born to Ival and Inabel Parks, Kay grew up on his family’s farm near Steilacoom. A 1939 graduate of Lincoln High School, Kay apprenticed for a Tacoma automobile dealership during high school, working in the service department. In 1942, he enlisted in the United States Army and served in World War II. Stationed in North Africa, France, and Germany, Kay served as a vehicle mechanic. At the War’s end, Kay returned to Tacoma, and started Kay Parks Autobody Rebuild, working nights and weekends to build his business. But his life was not all work. Kay loved to dance, and one evening he met the beautiful Mary Ann Wilson. The couple dated for years, marrying in 1959. Mary Ann brightened Kay’s life, and he frequently noted his only regret was not marrying her sooner. The couple enjoyed 50 wonderful years together. They loved to ballroom dance and graced dance floors throughout the region. Kay and Mary Ann were equally happy boating on Puget Sound. Kay joined the Tacoma Yacht Club in 1952 and remained a member for almost 70 years. The couple spent as much time on the water as possible, frequently joined by their beloved cat. Kay was a regular participant in the Christmas and the Daffodil Festival boat parades. In 1984, Kay and Mary Ann retired, selling their business to Dan and Sue Meyer. They developed a close family bond, sharing many happy times together. After retiring, Kay found more time to pursue his interests in gardening, Asian art, and Sumi brush painting, and Kay and Mary Ann traveled to China and Europe. Kay always enjoyed an outing with friends and a good laugh. In 2010, Mary Ann passed away. In his last years, Kay was blessed with the friendship of close and caring friends, including Dan and Sue Meyer, Pete and Cherie Hunt, Larry and Teresa Smith, Jan Lind, and Roy Brooks. Kay’s family will always be grateful for their kindness. Kay was a gracious, kind, and humble man. He was deeply loved and is greatly missed. He is survived by nieces Kristin Glenn (Mike), Emily Glenn, Joanne Hainline, Diane Holme, and Julie Rushing, nephews Mike Parks and Karl Prater, and many devoted friends. Memorials may be made to The Salvation Army of Tacoma or the Tacoma-Pierce County Humane Society. Kay will be laid to rest next to Mary Ann at Mountain View Memorial Park in a graveside service on Saturday, January 8 at 10:30 am.
Lifelong Tacoma resident, business owner, and beloved uncle and friend Thomas Kay Parks passed away on November 28, 2021 at his Tacoma residence. The youngest of three children born to Ival and Inabel Parks, Kay grew up on his family’s... View Obituary & Service Information
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