Orrine Parks

Obituary of Orrine Jane Parks

Please share a memory of Orrine to include in a keepsake book for family and friends.

Orrine Jane (Johnson) Parks, 87 of Pearland, Texas died peacefully on Mother’s Day, May 12 at Harbor Hospice.


She was born on June 10, 1936 in Carbondale, Illinois to Orin and Ella (Mikelson) Johnson.  She was the youngest of three siblings. 


“Rene” briefly attended Gustavus Adolphus University in St. Peter, Minnesota majoring in music and religion.  On September 17, 1955, she married Carl Parks at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Columbia Heights, Minnesota.


Rene and Carl began their life together at the Air Force Base in Topeka, Kansas where their first son, Steven, was born.  After a time in Minnesota, they moved to Alma, Wisconsin in 1968 where they owned and operated Parks Hardware Store.  Their second son, Eric was born that July.   Finally, in May of 1970, their youngest daughter, Sonja was born.


The family lived on the top floor of the hardware store.  Rene raised their three children; worked in the hardware store alongside Carl; and engaged in many community events and activities.  She loved to golf. She worshipped with the good people of St. John Lutheran Church in Alma.  She helped lead the business club.  She was an election judge, and she supported activities at the American Legion. Last but not least, she loved to travel.  At the age of 50, she started her own travel agency that enabled her and Carl to travel, often bringing groups along on the adventure. 


Both businesses were sold in 1998 when they retired, and the two of them traveled until Carl’s illness kept them closer to home.     Carl died of cancer in 2003, and Rene moved to Arizona.


Rene lived on her own, near good friends and her older sister Marilyn, in Safford, Arizona for six years.   On August  ­­­­9, 2009, she married Richard Burns of Wabasha, Minnesota.  He shared her love to travel as well.   Eventually, they moved to Gold Canyon, Arizona (near Phoenix) where she golfed, participated in church activities at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church and planned her next trip.    On May 23, 2020, Richard unexpectantly died.


Rene packed up her belongings and moved to Pearland, Texas where she lived next door to her son Steve and his family.  Once again, she put down roots.  She surrounded herself with dear friends and family.  She participated in many church activities with the good people at Epiphany Lutheran Church and found close friends at the golf course.  She continued to travel with family members until her struggle with lung cancer slowed her down.


On August of 2023, Rene banged the gong at the cancer treatment center.  She beat cancer.  Unfortunately, a recommended preventative treatment had adverse affects on her health.

On Mother’s Day, May 12, Rene went home to Jesus.  She died peacefully surrounded by family.


Orrine Jane Johnson Parks is survived by her oldest son, Steven (Lynn) Parks of Pearland, Texas; son, Eric Parks of Waupun, Wisconsin; daughter, Sonja (Gordon) Sandquist of Highlands Ranch, Colorado; seven grandchildren; seven great grandchildren; and three great, great grandchildren. 


She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Eldon, sister, Marilyn, husband Carl, and second husband, Richard.


A Memorial Service will be held at Epiphany Lutheran Church Family Life Center (5515 W. Broadway) in Pearland, Texas on Wednesday, May 22 at 11:00 am with a reception lunch following the service.  Rev. Jon Salminen will be officiating.   Please contact Sonja Sandquist (Sonja80465@gmail.com / mobile #720-216-76490) for the Zoom Link for the service if you would like to participate remotely.


In leu of flowers, a tax deductible memorial gift can be given to the Epiphany Lutheran Church Renovation Fund (Epiphany Lutheran Church, 5515 W. Broadway, Pearland, TX  77581).


On the morning of Saturday, September 14, 2024, the family will gather in Alma, Wisconsin for a short service of committal and the spreading of ashes.  All are welcome.  Please let us know if you plan to attend.

Share Your Memory of