George Kenneth Parkman was born in Russell County, Alabama, on June 9, 1935, to Hilda Maggie Bryant and Leslie Huell Parkman. In 1946 the family moved to Salem, Alabama, where they ran a general merchandise grocery store for twenty years. A 1953 graduate of Opelika High School, George earned a degree in Industrial Engineering from Auburn University in 1957. A member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity and the Army ROTC, he was commissioned as Second Lieutenant upon graduation.
After working as an industrial engineer for Southern Bell Telephone Company, George was assigned to the Army Corps of Engineers in Germany from 1958 to 1960 where he attained the rank of Captain. In 1961 he was recalled to active duty at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, during the Berlin Wall crisis in order to ready his Army Reserve Company for combat duty in Germany. On a trip to Germany for training, he met Callie Mae Williams, an American Airlines flight attendant. In 1964 they were married; their meeting and life together were a true love story.
After a brief return to Southern Bell Telephone in 1962, George joined Morbark Debarker as a sales engineer. In 1964 he was hired by Taylor Machine Works, a manufacturer of large forklift trucks, as a factory sales representative for Louisiana and Arkansas, and in 1966, he and his family moved to Ruston, Louisiana. In 1981, after having become a dealer, he established Arkla Taylor, Inc., with sales and parts facilities in Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. After receiving many top dealer awards, in 2011 Arkla Taylor was sold to Hugh and Hall, Inc. George stayed involved in the business community as owner of Stor-A-Way Mini Storage, a self-storage facility in Ruston.
George contributed his time and financial support to Four Paws Rescue in Ruston, where he was also a member of the Ruston Kiwanis Club and Trinity Methodist Church. In his free time, he enjoyed duck, deer and pheasant hunting with friends, his daughters, and grandchildren. He was a lifelong Auburn Tiger and always enjoyed football season. His favorite activity was spending time with his family in Crested Butte, Colorado, where he enjoyed fly fishing and snow skiing. Tennis was a lifelong passion of George’s, especially playing doubles with his friends. He is preceded in death by his parents; brothers Huell Parkman, Charles Parkman, and Robert Parkman; sisters Elizabeth Noe and Mary Colman.
Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Callie Mae Parkman; daughters Carol Parkman Williams and Laura Ligon Parkman McElroy and son-in-law Robert McElroy; grandchildren Maggie and Jack Williams; sister Betty Letlow, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Honorary pallbearers include Darryl Johnson, John O’Neal, Ed Shell, Johnny Maxwell, James Mays, and Robbie James.
George’s family would like to give special recognition and thanks to Dr. Tommy Smith and all of the caregivers for their care and devotion.
Visitation will be held from 10:00-11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, September 6th at Trinity Methodist Church prior to a Memorial Service in the Burkhalter Chapel at 11:00 A.M., Rev. Doug DeGraffenreid officiating. A private family burial service will follow under the direction of Kilpatrick Funeral Home of Ruston, LA.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Four Paws Rescue or the charity of your choice.