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Dr. Clarence D. Parks

Dr. Clarence D. Parks, V.M.D., 97, of Varden, Wayne County, died Wednesday evening at home. His wife of 69 years, the former Martha Shotwell, died in 2003. 

Born in Susquehanna County, son of the late Robert D. and Mildred Pooler Parks, he was graduate of Susquehanna High School and a 1933 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, where he received his medical degree. He moved to Wayne County to practice as a horse doctor and treated farm horses. In the late 1930s, as farms shifted to using tractors, he changed his practice to accommodate dairy farms. In the 1960s, many small dairy farms were forced to close for economic reasons, and he closed his vet practice. He became a state medical inspector for dairy herds. He did this for 20 years and retired in 1985 at age of 74, after 51 years of service to the farming community of Wayne County. He was also an advocate of the Morgan horse and the preservation of its bloodlines through public service and education. 

He enjoyed competitive, 100-mile trail endurance rides in Vermont, and won at age 33 and again at age 75. He also drove two-wheeled-carts in 100-mile competitions. He was the first competitor to drive a horse 1,000 miles in competition. 

He was a man of integrity, gentleness, politeness and professionalism. A keen thinker, he was a man of spirit, good humor and few words. He was devoted to his love of animals and to teaching people that animals have many of the feelings and emotions people possess. 

Surviving are a daughter, Sylvia Shaffer and husband, David, Varden; a son, Lewis and wife, Joan, Glen Aubrey, N.Y.; a daughter-in-law, Carolyn Parks, Waymart; a brother, Gerald and wife, Beverly, Susquehanna County; two sisters, Doris Kniskern and Betty Bell, Cortland, N.Y.; six grandchildren, Jeffrey Parks, Carla Feringa and husband, Kenneth; Eroh Shaffer and wife, Karen; Chad Parks and wife, Jessica; Tiffany Shaffer and Lisa Eldred and husband, Harry; four great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews. 

He was also preceded in death by a son, George; and two brothers, Ivan and Floyd. 

A memorial service will be in the spring at Lake Ariel United Methodist Church. Burial will be in the spring in Canaan Corners Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Lake Ariel United Methodist Church, 110 Maple Ave., Lake Ariel, PA 18436; Dessin Animal Shelter, 138 Miller Road, Honesdale, PA 18431; or the National Museum of the Morgan Horse, P.O. Box 700, Shelburne, VT 05482. To leave an online condolence, visit .  
Published in the Scranton Times on 1/26/2009

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