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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.
PARKS, Robert. (Savannah, IL, April, 1941---Asbury, IA, Feb. 24, 2009). Parks will be remembered as a volunteer coordinator for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation in the tri-state area. He served as coordinator for over five years and in that time raised nearly 100,000 toys for needy children in a four-county area.
During Christmas, 2008 nearly 6,000 area children received toys due to his efforts. Many tri-state residents knew Parks simply as "Marine Bob" or "the Toy Man." In February, 2009 Bob and his wife, Fran, received the "Youth Impact" award from Dubuque365 for their tireless commitment.
In 1959 Parks joined the Marine Corps and served as an embassy security guard in Helsinki, Finland; Moscow, Stockholm, Frankfurt, and Geneva.
He was a wholesale sales representative for a few years in Madison, Wisconsin and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He then worked as an insurance and investment counselor for thirty years with most of the time in Dubuque. He retired in 2001.
Parks had years of community involvement. He served as the co-chairman of the Dubuque County Republican Central Committee from 1978 to 1980 and was the Republican 2nd Congressional District platform chair. He volunteered in fund raising projects for his church, schools, and veterans' organizations. He was a member of the Dubuque Community Schools Foundation and gave many hours to the Dubuque-All Veterans Memorial Plaza Committee. He was active in the Marine Corps League and the American Legion.
Robert Parks was a American Red Cross "Hero of the Tri-States" as well as a Volunteer of the Month for the DUBUQUE RACING ASSOCIATION. He was one of the men who worked to rehab STORYBOOK HILL ZOO in the early 1980s.
Parks was the father of Bryce and Brad Parks, founders of Dubuque365. He was a vital investor and partner in the creation and growth of the company and was very proud of the positive impact his investment and sons had on the community. He loved making furniture for his family, including the wooden 365ink newspapers stands which may still be seen around Dubuque. His greatest joy in his last years was the companionship of his granddaughter, Kalie, daughter of his own daughter, Krista.
Obituaries. Telegraph Herald, February 26, 2009, p. 6