Obituary: F. Theodore Parkinson, 82, of Ludington

January 22, 2024

Ted Parkinson

Obituary: F. Theodore Parkinson, 82, of Ludington

F. Theodore (Ted) Parkinson


Francis and Betty (Smith) Parkinson celebrated New Year’s Eve 1941 at the Bay City hospital by welcoming their firstborn child – Ted.

Ted grew up on the family farm in Merrill, which instilled in him a lifelong work ethic. After school and weekends Ted could be found driving a tractor, harvesting beans, along with trying to keep his six younger siblings in line.

Ted’s Dad accepted a transfer from Dow Chemical in Midland to its Ludington plant, so in 1958 the family moved and he began his junior year at Ludington High School, was a member of the varsity basketball team and graduated with the Class of 1960.

He often remarked that there weren’t many businesses in town at that time where he didn’t hold a part time job – from restaurants to car dealerships to gas stations.

After graduation, Ted took a job in Muskegon. An offer from Harbison-Walker was a welcomed end to that daily round trip drive.

He spent 39 years there, starting out as a laborer, then a welder, and retiring in 2003 as an operations manager. Ted was a conscientious worker and formed lasting friendships at HW.

In 1972, Ted built his family’s home after the purchase of 10 acres on Lincoln Road. In retirement, he could be found with the garage door up, sitting in a lawn chair watching nature and traffic go by. He enjoyed feeding the birds, turkeys and deer. He also volunteered his considerable workman skills by helping out family, friends and neighbors with projects.

Ted never owned a computer or accessed the internet. He always carried a small notebook and pencil in his shirt pocket, jotting down names, phone numbers, dates and to-do lists. Along with his flip mobile phone, that was all he needed in today’s world of technology.

Ted passed away on January 16, 2024 after a courageous battle with cancer. (After making more friends with the wonderful staff at the Cancer and Hematology Center in Muskegon and Lake Michigan Senior Living Center). He was preceded in death by his parents; brother Tim Parkinson; sister Susan Parkinson; and granddaughter Amanda Edel Richmond.

He leaves behind his children: Kelly (James) Edel, Paige Duggan and Chad (Sherry) Parkinson; grandchildren Bethany Flermoen, Lauren (Mitch) Raskovich, Kaci Duggan, Justin (Chloe) Duggan, Renee (Karl) Swab, Tyler Parkinson, five great grandchildren with another one on the way, and many nieces and nephews.

He is also survived by his brother Van (Jacki) Parkinson; sisters Sally (Kerry) Richmond, Julie (Art) Collins, Becky (Mike) Magee; sister-in-law Lisa Parkinson; and the mother of his children, Carol Paasch Parkinson.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, April 26, 2024 at 11 a.m. at Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington, with visitation at 10 a.m. Ted will be laid to rest at Lakeview Cemetery in Ludington. Memorial contributions in Ted’s honor can be directed to Furry Friends or Mason County Life Recovery.

Ted’s family welcomes memories and messages in their guest book online. He will be forever in our hearts and memories.

Arrangements were entrusted to Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington,

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