Oct. 17, 1944-Dec. 31, 2013
WHEATLAND – A funeral liturgy for Donald William Parkin, 69, will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 10, 2014 at the Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church in Wheatland with Father Tom Kadera as the celebrant.
Immediately following, a Celebration of Life get-together will be held at the First State Bank Conference Center in Wheatland. The Vigil for the Deceased will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9, 2013 at the Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church.
Interment will be in the Village of Hemingford Cemetery in Hemingford, Neb. at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014.
Don Parkin, a resident of Wheatland, died Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 at the Davis Hospice Center in Cheyenne.
Don was born Oct. 17, 1944 in Alliance, Neb., the son of Loyal and Wilma (Winslow) Parkin. He was the fourth of five children born to Lee and Wilma Parkin of Hemingford. His mother said that even as a baby, his great smile brightened everyone’s day.
In 1963, after numerous rowdy mishaps with his bunch of Hemingford cronies, he graduated from high school and decided on a whim to attend Chadron State College where he majored in math and physics. He proved himself to be an apt student while greatly enjoying all the extracurricular activities college life had to offer some of his best memories.
Graduating in 1968, Don took his first teaching job in Brewster, Neb., and followed that with a teaching stint in Crawford, Neb. In 1970, he became the high school math and physics instructor at Goshen Hole High School in Veteran. He married Patsy Bixby, originally from Cheyenne, and they began their married life in Yoder.
In 1975, he and his growing family moved to Wheatland where he began with a handful of files to build the Farmers Union Insurance office into a thriving community business. In 1984, he was chosen to be the Wyoming District Manager and spent many hours traveling the state, which he enjoyed immensely. He won the all-company award for District Manager of the Year several times, always crediting his wonderful crew of insurance agents and office personnel throughout the state for the success.
He also enjoyed his small farm in Nebraska and tinkering with anything that had an engine, usually making repairs using lots of creative ingenuity and duct tape.
Don was a person whose love for his fellow human beings and his incredible sense of humor drew people to him instantly. He forged lifelong friendships wherever he went. His family would especially like to honor his years and years of coffee shop buddies. Visiting with them was one of the highlights of his life, especially during these past few difficult years.
Don suffered uncomplainingly for many years with the hereditary condition polycystic kidney disease. He was granted an extended life when his daughter Dalee donated a kidney to him almost five years ago.
He is survived by his wife of 43 years; his children, Darren of Laramie, Dalee McIntosh of Loveland, Colo., Donny and wife Jamie of Sidney, Neb., Dave of Cheyenne and Dan of Wheatland; his brother, Bob of Hemingford; and numerous nieces and nephews. His special joy was his grandchildren, Hannah, Deegan and Avery Parkin, and Kian McIntosh.
Don was preceded in death by his parents; his sisters, Betty McIntosh and Dorothy Perry; and his brother, Jim.
Serving as pallbearers will be Bob Madsen, Tom Bramlet, Arlie Bixby, Jeremy Steinhausen, Phil McIntosh and Doug Weaver.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to the Wheatland Community Thrift Store, which provides support to area dialysis patients, 866 Gilchrist Street, Wheatland, Wyoming 82201, or to the Polycystic Kidney Foundation, Box 87147, Kansas City, Mo. An envelope will also be available at the services.
Arrangements are under the direction of Gorman Funeral Homes – Platte Chapel of Wheatland.
Condolences may be left for the family at www.gormanfh.com.
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