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Rex Parkinson Passes Away

John Rex Parkinson, 88, of Decatur died on June 21, 2010, in Imboden Creek Living Center. Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, June 24, 2010, at Dawson & Wikoff Funeral home, Mt. Zion. Visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. till 8:00 p.m. Wednesday evening at the funeral home. Burial will be in Point Pleasant Cemetery with full military honors provided by the Macon County Honor Guard.

Memorials may be made to the United Professional Horsemen's Association Benevolent Fund, American Hackney Horse Association, American Saddlebred Horse Association, or to Millikin University.

Rex was born October 15, 1921, in Peoria, IL the son of Fred and Mary Floy (Morrow) Parkinson. He was a W.W. II veteran having served in the US Army Air Corps from October of 1942 through December of 1945. He was a prominent trainer of American Saddlebred Horses, Hackney Ponies, Roadster Horses, and Morgans. He was honored by his peers, who awarded him the United Professional Horseman's Association Hall of Fame, their Distinguished Service Award and he served on the UPHA board for fifteen years. He was inducted into the Kentucky State Fair Horse Show Hall of Fame, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Mid-West Hackney Association and the American Hackney Horse Society. He was past president of the American Saddlebred Breeders Association of Illinois and served on their board for many years. He also served on the board of the Mid-West Hackney Association, the Midwest Horse Show Association, and the Advisory Board for the Illinois State Fair. He was a past president of the American Road Horse and Pony Association and served on their board for several years.

He married Shirley Simcox on December 8, 1951. Surviving is his wife: Shirley of Decatur, daughter: Vicki Whitmer and her husband Bob of Mt. Zion; brother: Stuart Parkinson and his wife Phyllis of Springfield, step grandson: Bobby Whitmer and his wife Stephanie; step great-grandchildren: Katie and Jonathon Whitmer of Decatur. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers: Max Parkinson and Bob Parkinson and a sister: Jane Challacombe.

The family would like to thank Imboden Creek for their loving and compassionate care, especially his therapist, Diane, who kept him up and walking. Obituary written by family members. 

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