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The Parks family has participated in the New York Standardbred racing and breeding scene for over 70 years, spanning four generations. A proud tradition that started with the family patriarch, Fred Parks, who began his racing career as many did by driving in country fairs in Gouverneur, Lowville, Boonville, and Malone, NY.

Fred Parks trained and drove harness horses in New York, New England, and Canada from the 1940's through the 1960's. Fred trained for Charles Ruderman of Gouverneur, NY and for John Seymour of Dekalb Junction, NY for over 30 years, as their horses enjoyed success as season's leaders, and holders of track and even World records. Fred was a highly rated USTA driver, ranking in the top ten in the URDS system four times during his career. Despite never stabling more than a dozen racehorses in his barn, Fred's lifetime winnings exceeded one million dollars. He was the leading driver at Buffalo Raceway, Batavia Downs, and Laurel during his career. In 1963, Fred drove pacer K.D. Senator to equal the World's Record of 3:05 2/5 for 1 ½ miles. He also drove the notable horses Gene Abbe, Jason, White Foot Joe, Brave Scott, Truant Hanover, and Crockett before retiring in 1970. Together with his wife Frances, Fred passed on his love for harness horses to his son, Donnie Parks, and to his grandchildren, Mac Parks and Kathy Whiteford.

Both Donnie and Mac began their real involvement in the Standardbred industry after Fred's death in 1975, when Fred willed Mac his only broodmare. Donnie and his wife Betty retired from dairy farming and established the 35 acre Breezy Knoll "North" in Dekalb Junction, NY, caring for about seven family mares and their foals for many years until their retirement and subseuqent sale of that land. Donnie recently passed on, leaving his lasting mark on the PBK broodmares and foals. In 1997, Mac Parks established a 77 acre farm as Breezy Knoll "South" in Lowville, NY, which has become the main breeding and foaling facility for Parks' Breezy Knoll. Mac is also a successful pharmacist, who formerly operated a Medicine Shoppe franchise in Lowville and is now a pharmacist for Wal-Mart. Kathleen Whiteford, Mac's sister and a trained beautician, assists her family during the summers with open mares and yearlings.

PBK Honors The Life of Donald J. Parks

Parks Breezy Knoll honors the memory of Donald J. Parks, son of Fred Parks and loving father of Malcolm Parks and Kathleen Whiteford. "Donnie" was born in Dekalb Junction, NY on July 4, 1925, the son of Fred W. and Frances Hayes Parks. After attending grade school in Dekalb Junction, Don graduated in 1944 from Heuvelton Central School, where he was very active in sports and band. After graduation, Don took over the family farm on Beaver Creek Road in Depeyster, NY. On September 1, 1945, he married Betty L. Billings of Heuvelton, the daughter of Llewellyn and Elizabeth Billings. Together Don and Betty developed a 600 acre farm with 150 quality Holstein cattle. Don was a trained AI technician and bred all his own cows. He also did commercial combining of grain for other local farmers. Don also served as a town councilman for 16 years, and he and Betty were leaders of the local Depeyster 4-H Club for many years. He was also was a member of the Odd Fellows, the men's bowling league in Heuvelton, the Skirts and Flirts Square Dance Club in Canton, NY, and the Maple City Swingers Square Dance group in Ogdensburg, NY.

After retiring from dairy farming in 1970, Don moved to Dekalb Junction where he enjoyed woodworking, raising pigs and young cattle, and caring for the Parks family Standardbred mares, foals, and stallions for about 25 years at "PBK North." Most recently he and Betty spent their winters in Lowville at "PBK South," eventually selling their farm in Dekalb Junction to live with their family in Lowville, and to manage that farm's dairy operation.

Don is survived by his wife of 60 years, Betty; a son, Malcolm "Mac" Parks of Lowville; a daughter, Kathleen Whiteford and her companion Jay Fifield of Canton; 3 grandchildren - Jared Wells of Littleton, Co., Heather Wells of Tampa, Fla., and Lynnley Whiteford of Lowville; a great-grandson, Alexander Owens of Tampa, Fla.; a sister, Eleanor Heinrich of Watertown and Dekalb Junction, NY; as well as other nieces, nephews, and cousins.