Written by Wilford E. Park in Robert Park's baby book1
Mother - Catherine Edith Leonard of Delhi, Ontario.
Mother was born in Alberta, Canada, July 31, 1911. Her parents were William Mark2 Leonard and Edith Weekes. Grandfather Leonard was irish and born in Donaghadee, County Down, Ireland Oct. 23, 1871. Grandmother Leonard was of English extraction and born at Glencoe, Ont.
Mother went with her parents to China before she was two years old. Her parents were missionaries at Chengtu. He was a builder of the mission buildings. Mother returned to Canada for a year or more when her parents were on furlough but returned with them to China again. She spent about 13 yrs. in China and got her early schooling there. She could speak some chinese. Mother and her parents returned to Canada and Mother's high school days were at Tillsonburg, Ontario. She was a brilliant student and received a medal for her high school distinction. Her father served on various circuits in Ontario as a preacher. Mother became a high school teacher and taught school for a few years before marriage. She could read latin, read and talk French and a couple of years before her death she learned to read and speak Spanish. Mother was a devout christian and made her religion a living part of her life. She was much loved by all who knew her and had many true friends. She was a woman who knew real joy in the beauties of nature. She loved art and poetry. She wrote some poetry and it usually reflected her appreciation of beauty and God's presence. Mother died on Jan. 21, 1955 with cancer in the liver which originated in one of her breasts. She loved Robert very much and expected great things of him.
Daddy was born at Fair Ground, Ontario on March 27, 1901. His father was Watson Park and his mother Mary Emma Lura Cutler. Watson Park was of English extraction being descended from Sir Robert Parke of Preston, England who came to the U.S. on the ship Arabella in 1630, landing at Boston. The family settled and became prominent in Connecticut. Watson Park's great grandfather Dr. Amos Park left his practice in Palmyra N.Y. and came to Ontario because he remained loyal to the British Crown.
The line of ancestry is as follows - Wilford Park - Watson Park - Phillip Bender Park - Halsey Park - Dr. Amos Park - Silas Park - Hezekiah Parke - Robert Parke - Thomas Parke - Sir Robert Parke.
Daddy went to high school at Vienna, Ontario, graduated as a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Toronto with honours in 1927. He practiced medicine at Brownsville Ont. until Jan. 31/42 then started a career in industrial medicine at Whitby Ont. Later became Director of Health Services at Canada's Atomic Energy Project at Chalk River, Ont. Then on Dec. 29/49 he took the family to Minneapolis, Minn. where he became Director of the Div. of Industrial Health for the Minnesota Dept. of Health. He became prominent in industrial medicine and details can be found in Who's Who in Medicine. He was always an active churchman holding many church offices and in Sunday School work.
1 Catherine created 82 pages of handwritten commentary, photographs and certificates in Robert's baby book between 1940 and 1946. The only thing written in the book during that time by Wilford seems to have been the note "Property of Dr. W. E. Park, Brownsville Ont." pencilled in on the otherwise unused 5th birthday page. Wilford added the two pages reproduced above at the beginning of the book, probably in 1955, before he turned the book over to Robert.
2 Originally written "Martin" but later corrected.