EVCC scholarship to honor alumnus firefighter

EVERETT — A new scholarship at Everett Community College will honor Gary Parks, an Everett firefighter and college alumnus who died battling a blaze there in 1987.

The Gary Parks Memorial Scholarship will go to students in the college’s Fire Science program. Gary Parks’ family and Everett firefighters are behind the effort.

The Everett Community College Foundation also is seeking donors to help build the fund. “This scholarship is something I have always wanted to do in my dad’s honor,” Gary Parks’ oldest daughter, Erin Van Ry, wrote in a statement. Parks was 48 when he died. He was an 18-year veteran of the Everett Fire Department, where he was known as “Parksie.” The arson investigation remains unsolved.

Parks grew up near Lake Washington and served in the Air Force during the Korean War. He was known as a firehouse prankster who was deeply dedicated to his family and who loved the outdoors and antiques.

The first scholarship is expected to be awarded this fall, according to the college.

Applications will be available at the college’s website March. 10.

The scholarship is for fire-science students from Snohomish and Island counties with a 2.5 GPA. Candidates with community-service experience are desired.

In 2012, Parks was named a distinguished alumni, along with Everett Police Chief Kathy Atwood. A public memorial was held to mark the 25th anniversary of his death.

In addition, Parks is honored by a bronze firefighter’s helmet and jacket that sit on a bench along a promenade just northeast of the Gary Parks Memorial Student Union Building.

For information about donating to the fund, contact awilcox@everettcc.edu or 425-388-9250.

For more information about applications, go to www.everettcc.edu/scholarships.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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