Gene Allen Park
March 15, 1933 ‒ July 25, 2012
Gene “Poppy” Allen Park, age 79, of Marengo, passed away peacefully with his family at his side, on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at Woodside Village in Mt. Gilead, OH. He had a long struggle with cancer. He was born at home in Morrow County to the late Marion and Lucy Ufferman Park on March 15, 1933. He attended Johnsville High School where he graduated in 1951. Shortly thereafter he was drafted into the US Army and served his county in the Corp of Engineers in the Korean Conflict. Upon his return from his service, he worked at HPM in Mt. Gilead, where he met his wife, Norma (McGrath) and they were married in November of 1956. He left the Hydraulic to start his farming career, which was always his first love. A true farm boy at heart his whole life. He later was employed in the construction trade and put his engineering talents to work when he started his own construction business and operated it for twenty years until he retired due to his ill health. Gene also served his community as a Peru Township Trustee. He loved to operate the township road grader and truck plowing snow and working for his friends and neighbors in the Peru community. He was truly a workaholic and could usually outlast anyone half his age, always looking for another project or creating work to make sure everyone close to him was as busy as he was. Gene was always involved with his grandchildren with his ponies and their 4-H projects. Barney and Dan, his prize Haflinger pony team, appeared many times with his faithful companion Parker, the Dalmatian, perched on the seat beside the seasoned teamster on his bright red hitch wagon that he built or show carts at the county fairs or in a local community parade along with the rest of his family. He also enjoyed many wagon trains with a lot of his “horse” friends using a covered wagon that he had also built. At Christmas time he loved to deck out his ponies with a grand set of Amish-made sleigh bells and always had the tape recorder playing carols while crowding as many kids as would fit in the self-made red and white enclosed parade wagon. Gene would love it when his long-time friend would don his Santa suite and hitch a ride to make the Christmas card setting complete. Many of the children and adults alike that were touched by Gene, his family and his animals knew him and his wife only as “Pop and Nan,” never quite sure of their real names. But we’re sure his real name is written in the Book of Life and he is probably hitching up his team once again, only this time to give his Lord a ride around the block. Gene will be missed so much by his loving wife Norma, daughter Shirley Hatfield (Perry), son Bill and his wife Michelle, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, 3 sisters, Betty Preston, Jane Ulrey, Linda Morris and one brother Mike, many nieces, nephews, and in-laws.
He is preceded in death by his parents, brothers Clyde (Bud) and Tom, sisters Mary Starkey, Donna Jones, Jo Singrey and Hazel Fisher, and buddies Barney, Dan and Parker. The family will receive friends on Friday July 27th from 4 – 8 pm at the Snyder-Rodman Funeral Home, 307 E. High Street, Ashley and where funeral services will be held on Saturday July 28th at 12:00 (Noon). Burial, with military honors provided by members of the United States Army, will follow in Ashley Union Cemetery. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Morrow County 4H Club. Condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting www.snyderfuneralhomes.com