Byron Parkinson died unexpectedly on September 5, 2020. He suffered from cardiac arrest on the Enumclaw Trail on September 3. Byron’s family would like to thank the good samaritans and first responders for keeping him alive, giving him a chance to fight, and a chance for all of us to say goodbye.
Byron was born to Harold and Bernadine Parkinson on January 12, 1945. Byron was the second youngest of four siblings, Arlene, Rod, and Greg. Byron attended Enumclaw schools and graduated in 1963. Byron met the love of his life, Janie, during his time at Enumclaw High School. They started dating in September of 1962 following their first official date at the Seattle World's Fair. Byron and Janie got married on April Fool’s Day 1967; they have been each other's best friend and confidant for the past 57 years. In 1970 they welcomed their daughter, Kari and added their son, Michael in 1973. Byron was always incredibly hard working and it was so important to him to provide for his family and make sure that they were well taken care of and felt his love. Not a day has gone by that his sacrifices and hard work have gone unappreciated.
Byron worked as a milkman for Smith Brothers Dairy, following in the footsteps of his father. Byron even took over his father’s Enumclaw milk route when he first started out at Smith Brothers Dairy. He then worked as a semi-truck driver for Vitamilk Dairy until his retirement in 1999. After retirement, Busy Byron continued to work as the van driver for the Enumclaw Senior Center, which was a job he always thoroughly enjoyed. He was a compassionate and kind man and always looked forward to his interactions with the seniors. He finally retired for good only a few years ago after working for his son-in-law at GMS Metal Works in Auburn.
Byron always loved his hometown of Enumclaw and moved back “home” with Janie in 1995 after raising their children in Kent. After moving back to Enumclaw Byron became involved in the Enumclaw Kiwanis Club where he served as President and Vice President on multiple occasions. Some of his favorite ways to give back to his community included helping pass out food baskets to families in need. He also enjoyed reading, gardening, and going to car shows to show off his prized 1957 Chevy.
Byron took so much pride in the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren. It was a rare day to see Byron miss a sporting event, recital, or life event for someone in his family. Byron’s grandchildren say that they will be forever grateful for the presence that Papa Byron always had in their lives. He was always there; through everything. His love for his family was clear to anyone that met him. He was a kind, gentle, caring, and protective man. Family dinners were one of Papa’s favorite things that Grandma says left him smiling long after the kids had left. He was a true family man and a true friend.
Byron was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Arlene Young, and his beloved dog, Buster. He is survived by his wife Janie, daughter Kari and husband Chad, son Michael and husband Greg, and cherished grandchildren Katie, Natalie, Carson, Candace and husband Gabe, as well as many other relatives and friends.
There will be a private Mass held for Byron on September 18, 2020 at St. Barbara Catholic Church. A reception will be held at the family home following the Mass. Please call the family if you are interested in attending. Masks and social distancing will be required. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to The Enumclaw Food Bank or The Enumclaw Fire Department.
Byron will forever be alive in our hearts. We miss you so much. We love you.
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