Dr. James Grant Parke

Published 3:07 pm Tuesday, June 16, 2009

He was born June 7, 1918 in Fairport, New York, son of the late Emma Grant and Howard Parke.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Marion Robinson, and a brother Don.

Dr. Parke graduated from Fairport High School in 1935, received a B.A. degree from Oberlin College in 1941, married Marion Robinson in 1941 and received his medical degree from the University of Rochester, New York, in 1944.

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He served his internship and a year of surgical residency at Hurley Hospital in Flint, Michigan , 1944-1946. He served a year more of a surgical residency at Genesee Hospital in Rochester, New York, before beginning medical practice in Albion, New York from 1947 to 1978. (He spent 1951-1952 as chief resident in surgery at Rochester General Hospital.)

While in practice in Albion, Dr. Parke served as chief of surgery, chief of staff and president of the Orleans County Medical Society. He performed all varieties of surgery, delivered well over one hundred babies a year and had a general practice as well.

James was a member of Albion, Jekyll Island,, Ga., and Tryon, N.C. Presbyterian Churches, and was a lifetime member of Rotary in these locations as well.

He served in Montero, Bolivia, teaching in the only post-graduate surgical program in that country. He performed and taught surgery twice in a remote hospital in Ghana, West Africa, as well as serving in Haiti and Jamaica in church associated medical missions.

Dr. Parke was awarded the New York State Medical Society Presidential Citation for distinguished service in 1971 and the Rotary International Paul Harris award in 1978.

He earned his private pilot license in 1975 and instrument and multi-engine rating in 1976. In 1978, he left private practice in Albion to move to Jekyll Island, Ga., where he was the only practicing physician from 1978 to 1990. While living on Jekyll Island, he studied sculpture under Russell Fiore. His life sized bust of Dr. Albert Schweitzer is in the lobby of Spivey Hall at Atlanta&squo;s Clayton College and State University. All his life he loved boating and traveling. He was a dedicated photographer since teenage years, claiming to have made 50,000 miles of movie film.

After moving to Columbus and Tryon Estates in 1993, he served as delegate to the Senior Tar Heel Legislature, was on the Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry Board, served with the local Red Cross, literacy council, Asheville Eye Bank and served as courier for St. Luke&squo;s Hospital. In 2004, the Tryon Rotary Club awarded him the Second Wind award.

Dr. Parke is survived by two sons, Robert (Teresa) of Cazenovia, N.Y., and William (Ann) of Lancaster, Penn., and a daughter, Ann Burr (Max) of Columbus, Ga. Also surviving are seven grandchildren, Daniel and James, Thomas, Sarah and Margaret and Marla Caligaris (Roberto) and Jason Burr (Tonya) and six great grandchildren: Nicholas, Alessio, Juliana, and Gabriela Caligaris and Jeb&bsp; and Ava Burr.

A memorial service will be held on June 27 at 2 p.m. at Tryon Estates, 617 Laurel Lake Drive, Columbus, N.C. A memorial service followed by burial in Albion, New York, will be planned for a later date.

Thanks to Dr. A.T.Pagter, Tryon Estates staff, Home Health and Hospice of the North Carolina Foothills for their excellent care of our father during his recent months of illness.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Albion Presbyterian Church, Albion, New York, Tryon Presbyterian Church, Tryon, North Carolina, or Rotary Club of Tryon or Albion or a charity of your choice.

An online guest register may be signed at www.mcfarlandfuneral chapel.com. McFarland Funeral Chapel, Tryon.