William Frederick ‘Fred’ Parks, 75, awarded Medal of Merit for developing Family Trauma Unit

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William Frederick Parks
William Frederick Parks

William Frederick ‘Fred’ Parks, 75, passed away on Wednesday, June 22, 2016. Fred was born on October 19, 1940, in Newport News.

Fred served in the U.S. Army and then joined the Hampton Police Department. He began his career with the Virginia Beach Police Department on October 1, 1970, and served in various units such as the Dive Team, SWAT, the Juvenile and Detective bureaus and was also part of a Customs, IRS, FBI, and VBPD Task Force.

On April 12, 1996, Fred was awarded the Medal of Merit for developing the Family Trauma Unit. Upon his retirement on September 30, 1997, Fred continued his service to the VBPD by becoming a background investigator and polygraph examiner until his final separation in 2003.

On October 9, 2006, Fred began another career by joining Continental/United Airlines, where he worked in several capacities. He retired from United Airlines in January 2015.

Fred was a Scottish Rite Mason, a Shriner and a member of several police associations. For many years, he enjoyed coaching football and basketball teams for the Courthouse Recreation League. He enjoyed golf and was an avid Duke basketball fan.

Fred was preceded in death by his parents, Catherine Butry McMahon and William Oakley Parks; stepfather, William J. McMahon; grandparents; several aunts and uncles; and multiple beloved pets.

He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Cathy Townsend Parks; son, William ‘Willie’ Parks, and his fiancée, Stephanie Socha; and granddog, Scooter; three daughters, Kimberly Thieman, Teresa Ansell and Cynthia Byrd, and their families; his Hawaiian Ohana; his Ohio and Virginia families, and numerous friends.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 29, at Smith & Williams Funeral Home, 4889 Princess Anne Road, Virginia Beach. A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 30, at the funeral home. Interment will follow at 1:30 p.m. in Greenlawn Memorial Park, 2700 Parish Ave., Newport News, with honors rendered by the Virginia Beach Police Department.

To honor Fred, the family requests everyone attending his celebration of life service wear golf shirts and/or casual clothing.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Duke Cancer Institute.

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