Merle Daniel Parks was born November 26, 1933, in rural Poweshiek County near Sheridan, IA, son of Henry and Annice Cory Parks. He grew up in the Green Mountain area where he attended country school and later graduated from Green Mountain High School in 1951. On November 28, 1954 he was united in marriage to Carol Michels at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Marshalltown. Merle made his home in Irwin, PA where he served in the United States Army and then worked as a cabinet maker until moving to Garwin, Iowa in 1958. He continued to work in the carpentry business and moved on to laying floor covering until his retirement in 1995. His true passion was building homes for family members. Merle was an active member of the Garwin community and was a member of St. Boniface Catholic Church in Garwin where he served as a member of the parish council and most recently was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Marshalltown. He was also a member of the Garwin City Council, Garwin Fire Department for 25 years, Garwin School Board for 15 years, Garwin Revitalization Committee, Tama County Economic Development Board, Garwin Lions Club for over 50 years where he had perfect attendance and Assistant Scout Master Troop 394. In 1996 his family was honored as family of the year at the University of Northern Iowa where 8 of his 10 children attended along with several of his grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and his in-laws, Joe and Lois Michels. He is survived by his wife Carol of Garwin, his 10 children Les (Maggie) Parks of Garwin, Terri (Gregg) Goos of West Liberty, Anne (Keith) Barloon of Garwin, Joe (Sherry) Parks of Garwin, Mary (Mike) Boege of Garwin, Dennis (Mary) Parks of Oskaloosa, Glen (Tina) Parks of Sandwich, IL, Susie (Grant) Strohbehn of Gladbrook, Karen (Ron) Roseland of LeGrand, and Paul (Carie) Parks of Sycamore, IL, 27 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren, two brothers Samuel (Ann) Parks of Middletown, OH and Raymond (Linda) Parks of Garwin.