James A. Parkinson, 69, a veteran Ohio trainer-driver, died Saturday, April 24, from cancer.
He was born on January 9, 1941, to the late Silas "Frank" and Hazel (Irwin) Parkinson. Mr. Parkinson graduated from Linnwood High School in Jacksontown, Ohio. Although skilled in many fields, he spent his lifetime working with his first love, which was horses.
Mr. Parkinson was a native of Newark, Ohio, but lived recently in nearby Thornville, where he and his wife Sally operated Autumn Lane Farm. Earlier in his career Mr. Parkinson was an active trainer-driver, winning 896 races. Horses he drove earned almost $1.8 million. Many years he maintained a Universal Driver Rating higher than .300 and won driving titles at Scioto Downs and Seminole Downs.
He built a training center in Thornville and later a farm in Florida. In recent years, he stepped away from the track to concentrate on Autumn Lane Farm, a showplace breeding and boarding operation.
Mr. Parkinson was a member of the USTA and the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association. He loved life on his farm surrounded by his horses and family. Above all, he was a loving husband and father. His wonderful easygoing personality and sense of humor will be terribly missed by all.
Mr. Parkinson is survived by his wife, Sally (Shaffer); sons, Andrew, Scott (Lisa) and Aaron; daughter, Lori (Mace) Voehringer; granddaughters, Haley and Emily Voehringer; sisters, Elizabeth Hunt and Martha Hoskinson; brothers, Roger, Donald, Edgar (Jean), Wendell and Tom (Nancy); brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Al (Keri) Shaffer and Tim (Suzie) Dawson; and nieces and nephews, Ali, Austin and Tyler Shaffer and Brandy and Timmy Dawson. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, David; and his sisters, Katherine Heck and Evelyn.
Mr. Parkinson’s family would like to acknowledge the special friendship of the Albert Weaver Family of Danville and Tommy Kemp for all of their support.
Friends and family may call from 5-8 p.m. on Monday, April 26, at the Reed-Egan Funeral Home, 141 Green Wave Drive, Newark, with funeral services there at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, April 27, with Chaplain Cliff Biggers officiating. Inurnment will follow at a later date.--By Dean Hoffman