|Birth: ||Jul. 12, 1929|
|Death: ||Apr. 17, 2008|
Bob Parkins, 78, editor, publisher, owner and journalist with the Milan Mirror-Exchange newspaper died Thursday morning April 17 in Milan.
An avid outdoorsman and deer and turkey hunter, he was turkey hunting with a good friend George Fain when he suddenly passed away.
He had undergone multiple surgeries in recent years, including a heart bypass procedure.
Mr. Parkins was born in Bolivar, Tenn. July 12, 1929 and as a young boy lived in several towns as his father Henry Clay worked building roads in West Tennessee with the state Highway Dept.
Boy Scouting was his life from grades 8-10 as he attained Scouting's highest rank, Eagle Scout as a sophomore at Grand Junction High School.
At Dresden High School he played football alongside future Tennessee Governor Ned McWherter.
Moving to Milan in January 1946 he enrolled as a senior at Milan High School and graduated in the class of 1947. Following football season Bob and classmate Brooks Huey on a dare became the school's first male cheerleaders.
After graduation from Milan he joined the U.S. Air Force and served four years as a communications specialist with top secret clearance, including two years in the Panama Canal Zone.
He entered the Univ. of Tenn. at Martin on a football scholarship in 1952 and played as a lineman before earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture in 1955. He continued his education at the Univ. of Tenn. Knoxville on a graduate assistantship in Jan. 1956, earning a Masters degree in Dairy Science in March 1957.
From 1957 until 1980 he managed Green Acres Dairy Farm in Graball south of Milan. The farm at one time had the largest dairy herd in Tennessee. He also served in leadership roles in agriculture on the local, regional, state and national levels as a member of the Associated Milk Producers, Inc.
He started his career in journalism as a West Tenn. area reporter for the Commercial Appeal and Nashville Tennessean. In June 1965 Bob and wife, Dorris started the Milan Mirror newspaper from scratch. The paper was a competitor with the long established Milan Exchange.
In 1977 the Mirror purchased the Exchange, merging to form the Mirror-Exchange.
A prize-winning newspaper, the Mirror-Exchange has earned numerous state awards from the Tennessee Press Association, Tennessee Education Association, Tennessee School Boards Association, and sports organizations.
Mr. Parkins also earned many individual honors for volunteer community service, including: Jaycee's Young Man of the Year, 1963; Milan Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year 1972; Sportswriter of the Year, Lawrenceburg Quarterback Club 1997; Milan High School Alumni Association honoree 1998; leadership awards from the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, FFA, 4-H, UT Martin Alumni Association, and being named an Honorary Colonel in Tennessee and Alabama.
Active in numerous civic affairs, he was instrumental in founding the West Tenn. Agricultural Museum and was currently serving as President of the museum association, an office he had held for 26 terms.
He is a past president of the Tennessee Press Association, Graball Community Club, Milan Rotary Club, MHS Quarterback Club, Milan Chamber of Commerce, West Tenn. Heart Association, Milan High School Alumni Association, and Milan YMCA executive board.
He was a Paul Harris Fellow and had over thirty years perfect attendance in the Rotary Club. He was also a member of the West Tenn. Healthcare Foundation board, Milan Chamber of Commerce, Milan Alumni Assn., and committee member for the Gibson Co. Sports Hall of Fame, into which he was inducted in 2002 as a contributor.
He was an eight year member and former chairman of the Gibson Co. Gas Utility Board, member of the UT Board of Governor, and served eight years as an elected Gibson County Commissioner.
He was a leader in state newspaper organizations, having served as president of the Tenn. Press Association, Tenn. Press Service and Tenn. Press Foundation.
He also served on boards that sought improvements in education, the UTM Development Committee and the state committee of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Mr. Parkins was active in the Sitka Church of Christ where he served as an elder for over thirty years, as well as a Sunday school teacher and song director.
He was a frequent blood donor and was honored for having donated over 17 gallons to the West Tenn. blood center.
His hobbies included creative writing, bow hunting for deer and supporting Milan and Tennessee football programs.
Mr. Parkins was preceded in death by his father Henry Clay and mother Drudie Bernice Edwards-Parkins, a brother Jimmy Parkins and a sister Mary Francis Humphreys.
Family survivors are Dorris Lee Fly-Parkins, his wife of 54 years, 8 children: Deborah Lee Ayers (Dick) of Warsaw, NY; Melanie Dawn Day (Dewitt); Tamara Claire Dunnebacke (Kevin) of Hendersonville, TN; Paris Denise Parkins; Scarlet Dru Elliott (Marty); Crystal Fly Parkins of Atlanta; Denton Clay Parkins (Donna) and Victor Bob Parkins (Carol) of Milan; ten grandchildren, Jordan Myranda Parkins, Holly Elizabeth Parkins, Austyn Douglas Dunnebacke, Casen Lee Dunnebacke, Deborah Lee Day, Walker Denton Parkins, Kendall Denice Parkins, Clay Parkins Elliott, Demi Esther Elliott, Bob Alan Elliott; a brother, Jerry Parkins (Jo) of Morristown, TN and a brother-in-law, Felix Fly (Margie) of Milan.
Funeral services were Sunday April 20 at the Sitka Church of Christ south of Milan with Bro. Scott Bloodworth conducting. Burial was in Oakwood Cemetery in Milan.
Serving as pallbearers were Marty Elliott, Kevin Dunnebacke, Dewitt Day, Dick Ayers, Brad Fly, Robert Fly and Bobby Fly.
The family requests that any memorials be sent to the Sitka Church of Christ, the Oakwood Cemetery Assn. in Milan, or the charity of the donor's choice.
As reported in the Milan Mirror Exchange
Henry Clay Parkins (1884 - 1977)
Drudie Bernice Edwards Parkins (1884 - 1969)
James Parkins (1924 - 2000)*
Bob Parkins (1929 - 2008)
Created by: fonda flamingo
Record added: Apr 30, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 26517378