Cover photo for Joseph Parks's Obituary
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1943 Joseph 2020

Joseph Parks

August 11, 1943 — December 8, 2020

Joseph Parks, 77, of Rochester, MN passed away Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at his home. Joseph was born in 1943 in Highland Park, MI, to Preston and Pauline (Carman) Parks. He graduated from Pontiac Central High School in Pontiac, MI, in 1961. He was the only student to become a National Merit Scholarship finalist in his class of 500 students. He married his high school sweetheart, Barbara Smith, in 1962, and they were blessed with three children: Kathy, Karen, and John. Joseph graduated from University of Michigan with a degree in Mathematics in 1964. He was hired by IBM to work on the NASA Gemini and Apollo programs at Goddard Space Center in Greenbelt, MD. He continued with IBM, applying his expertise in mathematics to develop compilers for the IBM System 32, 34, 36, and 38 mainframe product lines. In 1979, he relocated to Rochester, MN, where he designed language standards for cross-system consistency. Joseph retired from IBM in 1996 after 31 years of service. Throughout his life, Joseph enjoyed traveling to historical venues. He was an anglophile and enjoyed all aspects of English history and English politics. He spent long hours after his retirement on genealogy and gardening. He is survived by his wife, Barbara; his three children, Kathy Parks of Lexington, MA; Karen Parks of Mountain View, CA; and John Parks of Cannon Falls, MN. A service in celebration of Joseph's life will be held later next summer. Memorials are suggested to Rochester Symphony Orchestra, Channel One Food Bank of Rochester, and The Salvation Army. Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Parks family. To share a special memory or condolence please visit www.ranfranzandvinefh.com
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