Former Guilford County Commissioner John Parks was a man of few words when he served on the Board of Commissioners, but he made a big impression on those he served with.

That was more than evident at the Thursday, Jan. 7 commissioners meeting where the elected leaders he served with said very nice things about him in the wake of his death.

John Parks – officially James Johnson Parks – was 74 when he passed away on Monday, Jan. 4, at a health and rehabilitation center.

Parks was a major influence in High Point, a city he loved, though he was born in Moore County in 1946.

He received a bachelor’s degree in history from East Carolina University and later worked as a teacher and football coach in Moore and Nash counties.

Guilford County was very lucky to welcome Parks as a resident in 1972, He worked to put people on the right path in life whether that was in his capacity as a State of North Carolina probation and parole officer or teaching his Sunday School class each week.

Parks also worked for Price Realty for over a decade and a half.

Later in life, he served on the Guilford County Board of Education and on the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, with his last year as a commissioner being 2012.

Several of the commissioners on the current board served alongside of Parks and they each had kind comments about him at the Jan. 7 meeting.

Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Skip Alston said Parks was a terrific servant of the people. Like Alston, Parks had been on the board, off the board for years, and then back on again. In fact, Parks served three different times as a county commissioner.

“John served us well,” Alston said at the meeting.

Alston added that it wasn’t just on the board of commissioners and board of education that Parks was an important and consequential servant. Parks was also very active in the community, Alston said.

At the meeting, the commissioners held a moment of silence in honor of Parks.