Obituary: David Chandler Parkes


David Chandler Parkes, 71, of Fishers, died Oct. 5. He was born Jan. 3, 1947, in Washington, D.C. to Lester Chandler and Florence Elizabeth Foot Parkes.

After high school, David attended Indiana Wesleyan University, where he received the master’s degree with emphasis on Pastoral Care, graduating with a 3.8 GPA.

He continued his education at Kernersville Wesleyan College, where he received the bachelor’s degree in Biblical Literature.

Dave was a pastor for more than 30 years but considered all the work he did a ministry. After a long career in church ministry, he began working as a funeral prearrangement specialist for local mortuaries, including Shirley Brothers Mortuaries in Fishers; Miller-Moster-Robbins Funeral Home in Connersville; Randall and Roberts Funeral Homes in Noblesville. In September, he began working at Seals Funeral Home in Fortville.

As a certified chaplain with the Indiana Sheriff’s Chaplaincy Conference, Dave co-founded the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Chaplaincy in Indiana, where he found great joy as a volunteer for many years, providing pastoral care for families and individuals in crisis.

In 2018, Dave began working as a funeral coordinator and minister at Grace Church in Noblesville and created resources and processes that are now being used to coordinate his own funeral.

David adored his wife, Judy, with whom he celebrated 50 years of marriage in June of this year. Family gatherings with his children and grandchildren were among his most treasured memories. He never missed his kids’ or grandkids’ special programs, games, plays or musicals.

David was a gentle giant who spent his life caring for people. He never met a stranger and loved hearing others’ stories as much as he loved telling stories.

Dave had a disarming sense of humor and loved to laugh, tell stories and quote funny movies. But most every conversation with him eventually led back to the one thing he cared about most: His abiding faith in God. His life had been transformed by eternal love, and he wanted everyone he met to experience that unconditional love.

Always quick to offer help to anyone who had a need, Dave had an innate gift for comforting people during the darkest moments of their lives. He was captivating and compassionate toward anyone and everyone, always making room in his heart for more friends. He was accomplished, educated and had a vast amount of experience in ministry and funeral work, but he rarely spoke of his own accomplishments. He chose, instead, to shine a light on others.

In addition to his parents, David was preceded in death by his infant son, Edwin Chandler Parkes, who was born Oct. 19, 1970, and lived for only one week.

Survivors include his loving wife of 50 years, Julian Dian “Judy” Dalton Parkes; daughters Emily (Scott) Sutherland and Melody (Craig) Boyer; grandchildren Jackson Sutherland, Riley Sutherland, Ashton Boyer, Avery Boyer, Eli Boyer and Izzy Boyer; and sisters Grace (Scott) Cross and Carol (Bill) Nace.

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