Ernest Edward Parks Sr.


Mr. Ernest Edward Parks Sr., husband of Donna Jean Smarr Parks and lifelong resident of Tangier Island, passed away Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, at the age of 76. Born Feb. 26, 1944, on Tangier, he was the son of the late Ernest Elwood Parks and the late Della Marie Dise Parks.

As a member of the Seafarers International Union, Ern worked for various tugboat companies over the course of 35 years, retiring in 2006 as a tugboat captain for Express Marine Inc. Ern was a hard worker and continued to take on many jobs throughout his retirement years, one of which was running the oyster buyboat, the “Delvin K,” from Tangier to Reedville, Va., during the winter months. When he wasn’t working on the water, you’d often find him fishing, building something for his grandchildren, lending a helping hand to someone in need, or catching up on island happenings with his pals in the “situation room.” He was an active member of the New Testament Church and especially enjoyed going on mission trips. Ern was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend, and nothing brought him more joy than spending time with loved ones. He loved the Lord, adored his family, respected his community, and believed any day on the water was a good day. He will be greatly missed by all.

In addition to his loving wife, he is survived by their children, Ernie Parks and his wife, Rose, of Tangier, and Lisa Pusey, of Salisbury, Md.; brothers, Larry Parks, of Salisbury, and Wayne Parks and his wife, Sarah, of Crisfield, Md.; grandchildren, Lewis Wheatley and his wife, Kristan, of Westover, Md., Olivia Pruitt and her husband, Brian, of Tangier, Trisha Wheatley and her fiancé, Brian Murphy, of Princess Anne, Md., and Kayla Crockett and her husband, Nathan, of Tangier; great-grandchildren, Brandon, Peyton, Brody, Madi, Weston, Rowen, Elliott, Kelsey, and Kole; and several nieces and nephews.

A private graveside service will be held in the Parks Family Cemetery on Tangier.
Contributions in Ernest’s memory may be made to New Testament Church Mission Fund, c/o Danny McCready, P.O. Box 3, Tangier, VA 23440.

Memory tributes may be shared with the family at

Arrangements are by the Williams Funeral Homes, Onancock and Parksley.
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