June Parks is being remembered for her love for the community and commitment to children.
Parks, who passed away on Sept. 23 at 82, was the first principal at Jack P. Nix Elementary School when it was a primary school.
White County School Superintendent Laurie Burkett spoke about Parks at the Board of Education meeting on Thursday, Sept. 24.
Burkett shared how a middle school teacher “said that she had June when she was in third grade when she first came to White County, and she said that June started the class that morning by saying that she could be as tame as a kitty cat or as mean as a tiger. So the teacher told me, she said I did not misbehave all year. But June and Bobby (her husband) are both very, very big members of our community, and June will be missed.”
School board chair Missy Jarrard said that Parks is responsible for the Nixasaurus – the raptor-shaped topiary in front of the school – with Burkett adding that a white bow will be placed on the animal in memory of Parks.
Margie Black, a friend of Parks, remembers her as being a fun person to be around.
“If you were ever around her, there was not a dull moment,” Black said. “We did a lot of traveling and taking trips. I’m just going to miss having my best friend around to talk to, you could talk to her about anything … she was just a fun loving person to be around. She was in charge of everything she had her hands on.”
Black also recalled how involved Parks was with the community, with her teaching swimming lessons all over the county, her having a love for animals and more.
“She loved children,” Black said. “She and Bobby, her husband, in their early career days did more for the children of White County then anybody.”
After retirement, Parks got into real estate for many years, and also opened a popular cheese shop in Helen, Black said. Paula Ash, who had Parks as a Girl Scout leader, said that people loved her cheese shop, adding that it was a major draw for visitors.
“People came to town just to go to the cheese shop,” Ash said.
She fondly remembers Parks’ passion for the Georgia Bulldogs.
“We always went to the Georgia games and they were always there,” Ash said. “… She always led the Georgia cheers and always invited us to their tailgates.”
According to her obituary, Parks was involved at Unicoi State Park, the Rotary Club and Mountain Valley Community Bank. In fact, she was the first woman to be a board member at Mountain Valley Community Bank.
Funeral services were held on Saturday, Sept. 26. An obituary is on page 3A.