On Saturday, October 21, 2023, the world lost a beloved soul, Gary Marcel Parks Sr., at the age of 51. Surrounded by the love and warmth of his family, Gary took his final breath at the Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark.
Gary was born and raised in Plainfield, where he held fond memories of his time, including his graduation from Plainfield High School. Life led him to move to various neighboring towns before he finally settled in Irvington in 2020, alongside his cherished wife, Lisa.
Throughout his life, Gary exhibited immense dedication in his professions. For many years, he worked as a line cook, crafting delicious dishes at notable New Jersey establishments like Olive Garden, Cheesecake Factory, and Clark Country Club. More recently, Gary transitioned to work as a loader at the Restaurant Depot in Dayton. Despite his brief tenure there, his vibrant personality and hardworking spirit left an indelible mark on his colleagues, as reflected in their heartfelt tributes.
Outside the professional realm, Gary was an avid sneaker enthusiast. Affectionately dubbed a "sneaker head," his passion for collecting rare and vintage Nike sneakers knew no bounds. From the elusive Airforce 1s to the unique variations of the Jordan 4s, Gary was always on the hunt. Gary's fascination extended beyond sneakers, with cars and fashion also capturing his heart. A testament to his love for cars was his meticulously clean Mitsubishi Outlander, a vehicle that bore the unmistakable touch of Gary's personality. In Gary's world, the trifecta of passions was clear: sneakers, cars, and fashion.
Sadly, Gary was predeceased by his father, Anthony Powers, and sisters, Selennes Rios, Shermekia Martin-Murray (Marvin). His legacy, however, continues through his loving wife, Lisa, with whom he shared over two decades of memorable years, his eight children: Gary Parks Jr., Taheerah Hargrove (Tramaine), Quinton Parks, Quintasia Parks-Maynard (Michael), Gary Parks, Mehki Parks, Abram Parks, and Aaron Parks, as well as eleven grandchildren. He also leaves behind his devoted mother, Anita Parks, and siblings: Dawayne Parks, Stewart Chin, Jr., Yasmin Chin-Kellam (Cecil), and Reginald Chin. Additionally, a vast circle of extended family and friends mourn the loss of this extraordinary man.
Gary Marcel Parks Sr.'s life was a tapestry of dedication, passion, and love, and he will be dearly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him.