Cover photo for Parkman T. Brooks's Obituary
Parkman T. Brooks Profile Photo
1927 Parkman 2017

Parkman T. Brooks

February 24, 1927 — November 15, 2017

Life Story for Parkman T. "Parky" Brooks

1927 - 2017

Parky Brooks of Hailey, Idaho passed away peacefully of natural causes on Wednesday, November 15, 2017. He was at home with his loving family at his side. He was 90 years old.

Parky was born February 24, 1927 in St. Louis, Missouri to Willard Ellsworth Brooks, Sr. and Stella Francis Thorne. He was raised in St. Louis and Mountain Grove, Missouri and graduated from Normandy High School. He joined the Navy at the end of WWII in 1945, was admitted to the U.S. Naval Academy in January of 1946, and served actively in the U.S. Navy for 18 months after which he was honorably discharged. In 1954, he entered the Naval Reserve and served for 33 years, retiring as a Lieutenant in 1987.

Parky was awarded a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri in 1950, having also completed nearly 300 hours of training in the U.S. Bureau of Mines where he would work for the next 30 years. He was employed by the Department of the Interior Bureau of Mines from 1952 to 1982. His many roles at the Bureau took him from Anvil Points Colorado to Denver, then to Pocatello, Idaho, and finally to Salt Lake City, Utah, where he was Research Supervisor from 1972-1982.

Parky was a beloved scientist, outdoorsman, world-traveler, artisan craftsman, and lover of literature, art, food and music—a true Renaissance Man.

As a chemical engineer, he authored or co-authored many publications (11 for the Bureau of Mines, 5 for outside publications) and received 3 patents for his work. He also made presentations around the globe, including Prague, Czechoslovakia and Rabat, Morocco. He was assigned to help the Government of the Philippines evaluate bids to exploit nickel deposits on Surigao Island. Results of his nickel-cobalt research were adopted by Falcobridge Nikkelverk (a Norwegian nickel refinery). Research supervised by Parky also led to methods used to purify wastewater at Kennecott Minerals Copper Refinery in Utah. Parky supervised the team whose product received the IR-100 Award as one of the most significant technological advances in 1981. He was a member of the AIME and served on the High Temperature Metals Committee of the Extractive Metallurgy Division.

Parky loved the world and its people. He traveled extensively, visiting 18 countries and making 6 treks through the Himalayan Mountains of Nepal and Tibet. He loved downhill, skate and cross-country skiing, biking, trap and skeet shooting, hunting, fishing, sailing his boat, astronomy and running rivers. Parky was one of the “free spirits” who made the historic final 1958 trip down the Colorado River before construction of the Glen Canyon Dam created Lake Powell. He was a founding member of “The John Wesley Powell Society” headquartered in Denver, Colorado. This group monitored the changes in the Colorado River over time and wrote the first river guide books for the San Juan, Green and Colorado rivers. Parky also had a commercial aviator’s license and designed and made stain glass windows and furniture for his home in Hailey, Idaho.

Parky married Karen Hansen (Krogh Winder) on October 3, 1987 in Salt Lake City, Utah.  He is preceded in death by his father, Willard E. Brooks; mother, Stella Francis Thorne; and siblings, Willard E. Brooks, Jr. and Stella Jane Hata.  He is survived by his wife of thirty years, Karen Hansen of Hailey, Idaho; a sister-in-law, Juanita Agee Brooks of Roanoke, Virginia; nephews, Duane (Julie) Brooks of Oakdale, California, Doctors John S. (Tara) Hata, of Shaker Heights, Ohio, and Richard B. Hata of Madison Wisconsin and a niece, Dr. Donna Jane Hata and husband Michael Finn of Neptune Beach, Florida.  Also by three step-children: Kathryn K. Olsen of Logan, Utah; David Kyle Krogh of Murray, Utah; Kristin  Ann Krogh (Chris) Drysdale of Salt Lake City, Utah; Eight Grandchildren: Ryan (Monique) Wismar, Taylorsville, Utah; Sean Wismar, Salt Lake City, Utah; Dexter (Paula) Drysdale of Lehi, Utah, Anna Drysdale (Ben) Lehnardt, Salt Lake City, Utah; Alexander Drysdale and Benjamin Drysdale, Salt Lake City, Utah; Vanessa Wilkinson (Keagan) Krogh, Provo, Utah; Lisa Beth Wilkinson (J.J.) Lagerstrom, Rexburg, Idaho; and two Great Grandchildren: Gracie and Walter Drysdale, Lehi, Utah.

Parky left the world a better place through his love for life, dedication to military service and lifelong learning. He was a mentor to his family and friends on how to live with happiness and joy. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Parky elected cremation and his ashes will be spread in places he held dear in Idaho, Utah and Nepal. He also requested no funeral services be held. He wished to be remembered as the vibrant, energetic, and active person we all grew to love.

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