Parkinson obit

Steve “Parky” Parkinson  (Courtesy photo)

Steve “Parky” Parkinson, of Ridgway, passed away with his family beside him Nov. 9, 2021 at the age of 67 after tenaciously fighting metastatic prostate cancer for four and a half years. He will forever be remembered and celebrated by his loving family and large community of friends. 

Steve was a devoted family man, a kind, humble friend, and a true Cubs fan. He was an avid outdoorsman who loved to ski, fly fish, bike, hike, camp and explore the magnificent natural surroundings of the western U.S. Steve’s sense of humor would lighten anyone’s spirit. To his family, he was all the above and more, a man of integrity who had the biggest heart. Steve was an incredible husband of 38 years to his wife Carol and a wonderful father to his two amazing sons, Wade and Ryan.

Steve’s family was his greatest joy. He instilled his love of sports and core value of hard work in his sons. He was a very proud father watching his boys rip down a mogul course during their skiing competitions or cheering them on during baseball and soccer games, but always maintained that academics was top priority. 

His family and friends will always remember his adventurous spirit. One of Steve’s great accomplishments was a nearly 2000-mile bicycle trip across central Australia with three Telluride locals. When Steve’s group of “crazy Americans” had an accident while riding, they were rescued by a good Samaritan couple, resulting in a family friendship that continues to this day. Steve and Carol also shared many beautiful adventures together to Bali, the Virgin Islands, and Mexico.

Steve was born in Rockford, Illinois Sept. 12, 1954 to Hewitt and Dorothy Parkinson. He grew up in Oswego, Illinois with his sister, Tricia, where he was active in all sports and loved going to Wrigley Field to catch Cubs games. One of Steve’s significant early influences was his deaf grandfather, Karl, who spent the summer months with Steve’s family. Karl taught Steve to communicate using sign language, imparted a love of the outdoors, and introduced him to golf and baseball. Steve’s most important takeaway from his time with his grandfather was the value of perseverance in the face of adversity.

After high school, Steve attended Western Illinois University where he developed several life-long friendships and during this time he became intrigued by the West after taking ski trips to Colorado. Eventually, he moved to California where he met Carol in 1979. They fell in love and soon decided that the mountains were where they wanted to spend their lives together. They moved to Frisco, Colorado where Steve worked for Copper Mountain. While on a drive to see the fall colors of Southwest Colorado, they discovered quaint Telluride and moved there in 1981. They were married at Skyline Guest Ranch Oct. 1, 1983. 

Steve operated heavy machinery for several years before going to work for the Telluride Ski and Golf Company as a winch cat operator. His joy was grooming the black runs in the winter and working for the golf course in the summers for a total of 30 years. Parky took tremendous pride in his work, proven by his selection as 2012 Colorado Groomer of the Year. During a 6-year hiatus from the ski area, Steve traveled to build golf courses around the country and in Chile. Steve was a talented carpenter and built three beautiful homes for his family, a log home in Fall Creek near Telluride and two in Ridgway on Log Hill Mesa where the family has called home for the past 27 years.

Steve is survived by his loving wife, Carol, sons Wade and Ryan (partner Olivia), his sister Tricia (John), brother-in-law Steve (Kathi) and his treasured nieces and nephews and their families. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial contribution to the George Gardner Scholarship Fund. Inspiring confidence, courage and compassion to Ouray County Youth. Send to PO Box 105, Ridgway, Colorado, 81432 or at georgefund.org.

Steve’s celebration of life will be held Dec. 11 at the Ridgway 4-H Center from 1-4 p.m. Please respect the family and Ouray County building mask mandate.