Robert “Bob” Wilson Parks (Bob the Barber) passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 11, 2023 at University of Maryland Shock Trauma with his family by his side after suffering a stroke on Friday, March 10, 2023 in his barber shop. He was born on January 18, 1939, the second son of Lasbury Thomas Parks, Jr. and Ruth Elmay Moore Parks.
He was a member of the Class of 1957 of South Dorchester High School and received his GED while serving in the United States Army.
He married Barbara Anne Fleischman on January 17, 1959. He began his barber career by attending Salisbury Barber School and then worked as a barber with Bill Waldis until going into the U.S. Army in 1961. After basic training and advanced infantry at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, he served as a security guard in Korea at Camp Ames, a missile base. He transferred to Fort Hood, Texas in 1963 where he was honorably discharged.
Mr. Parks returned from his service to work at Haley’s Barber Shop until 1970. He opened Bob’s Barber Shop on Gay Street in Cambridge and celebrated 50 years in business in 2020.
He joined Grace United Methodist Church in December 1958 and received his 60th year pin in 2018. He also served on many church committees and as president to its Usher Union.
Bob was a 32 degree mason of Cambridge Lodge #66 A F and A M and received a 50th year pin in 2015. He was also a member of the Scottish Rite and former member of the Shriners and Tall Cedars of Lebanon where he served as a Grand Tall.
Bob and his wife, Barbara, were members of Minerva Chapter #50, Order of the Eastern Star which later consolidated with the Roelma Chapter #113 serving as Worthy Patron and Worthy Matron in 1974. They received their 50th year pin in 2017.
Bob Parks volunteered as a Cub Scout Leader for Pack #128 and received the Scout Family of the Year Award for the Easton District of the Boy Scouts of America when his son was a cub scout and his wife was the Den Mother. He was also an honorary member of the Rescue Fire Company.
In his free time Bob enjoyed fishing and crabbing in his boat “MI-SU” as well as decoy carving and painting. This hobby garnered him several awards and a loyal following. He donated numerous paintings and decoys to non-profit organizations in Dorchester County. His barber shop windows often displayed his handiwork. He also enjoyed traveling. Some of the most memorable trips were to the Holy Land, Hawaii, Alaska, and to several European countries. One of his favorite trips was to Oberammergau, Germany to see the Passion Play which is performed every 10 years by locals in appreciation for years ago when God spared their country from The Plague. He and his wife took many trips and cruises with the local AARP Chapter, #1278.
Bob will be most remembered for his storytelling about his hobbies, his life’s experiences, and the family he loved and cherished. He had a life well-lived.
Bob is survived by Barbara, his wife of 64 years, 2 children, son Mike and his wife Shawn; daughter Susan and her husband Skip Stinson. He is also survived by 3 grandchildren: Morgan Elisa Parks Cox and her husband Jody, Madison Anna Parks and her fiancé Josh Kaseff, and John Walter “Jack” Stinson, Jr. and his great-granddaughter Emerson Elisa Cox. Other surviving family members include godson Wayne E. Gray, Jr., brother Larry T. Parks and wife Kay, niece Michelle Sears, nephews Justin and Douglas Parks, Jr., and many cousins.
He was predeceased by a brother, Douglas Parks.
Visitation will take place at Thomas Funeral Home, P.A. on Thursday, March 16, 2023 beginning at 11am to 1pm. A Masonic Service will be held prior to the Celebration of Life service. The Celebration of Life service will begin at 1pm with Rev.’s Chris Petitt and Douglas Ridley officiating. Burial will be immediately following the service at Dorchester Memorial Park. Pallbearers are family members: Mike Parks, Skip Stinson, Jack Stinson, Jody Cox, Josh Kaseff and Wayne Gray, Jr. Honorary pallbearers are old army buddies, Kenny Thomas and Lee Dodson.
His family thanks his many clients for being faithful customers for 64 years. They would like to also thank and recognize Woody Hughes who stayed with him until the ambulance arrived, and to the person(s) who put flowers in the shop doorway.
The family would also like to acknowledge the care team nurses and staff of the University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton and University of Maryland Shock Trauma who provided their loved one with exceptional compassion and care.
Memorial contributions may be made to Dorchester County EMS, 829 Fieldcrest Road, Cambridge, Maryland, 21613, whose first responders provided Mr. Parks with skilled and empathetic care.