Frank Parks, 99, died Monday at his Lake Forest home surrounded by family and caregivers.
Born in Waukegan, Parks lived in Lake Forest for years with his late wife, Mona Benner Parks, where he combined his talents and passions for teaching, sports and art into a rich life touching many in the community, according to information from Wenban Funeral Home.
During the spring, summer and fall months, Parks taught tennis at both The Onwentsia Club in Lake Forest and Shoreacres Golf Club in Lake Bluff. In the winter, he instructed people in the sport of squash at Lake Forest’s Winter Club, which referred to him as a “legendary squash pro” in a bulletin less than a year ago.
He loved helping people enjoy a good time—whether on the courts or golf course, over a cold beer, or in his garden surrounded by a white picket fence made out of broken hockey sticks, according to Wenban. That is where his unique artistic talent came into play. He transformed ordinary objects like scrap wood, metal cans and golf tees into flowers, birdhouses, trellises, and animals.
Parks was preceded in death by his wife Mona and son Jimmy. He is survived by his daughters and sons-in-law: Diane and Gene Hatton and Gail and Jim Creath.
He was the grandfather of Susan (Bill) Beshilas, Lisa (Bob) Campbell, Lori Hatton, Jimmy (Susan) Creath, Julie (Tom) Ward, Jeff (Kat) Creath, Kim (Drew) Stover and Andy (Tonnie) Creath. He was the great-grandfather of Laura and Nicole Beshilas, Perry (Nathalya) Campbell, Lily Hatton, Jimmy, Tyler, and Weston Creath; Tommy, Nicholas and Emma Ward; Luke, Finn, Wyatt and Leo Stover as well as Callie, Alexa and Colton Creath.
A memorial service is set for 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Patrick Church, 950 W. Everett Road, Lake Forest with visitation from 9:30 a.m. until the service at begins.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Boys & Girls Club of Lake County, 1801 Sheridan Rd, Suite 202, North Chicago, IL 60064.
For further information please contact Wenban Funeral Home, 320 Vine Avenue, Lake Forest (www.wenbanfh.com or 847-234-0022).