Nautical 20

Ernest Edward Parks, Sr.

February 26, 1944 ~ December 28, 2020 (age 76)


Mr. Ernest Edward Parks, Sr., husband of Donna Jean Smarr Parks and lifelong resident of Tangier Island, VA, passed away on Monday, December 28, 2020 at the age of 76. Born February 26, 1944 on Tangier, he was the son of the late Ernest Elwood Parks and Della Marie Dise Parks.

As a member of the Seafarers International Union, Ern worked for various tugboat companies over the course of 35 years, retiring in 2006 as a tugboat captain for Express Marine, Inc. Ern was a hard worker and continued to take on many jobs throughout his retirement years, one of which was running the oyster buyboat, the “Delvin K,” from Tangier to Reedville, VA during the winter months. When he wasn’t working on the water, you’d often find him fishing, building something for his grandchildren, lending a helping hand to someone in need, or catching up on island happenings with his pals in the “situation room.” He was an active member of the New Testament Church and especially enjoyed going on mission trips. Ern was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend, and nothing brought him more joy than spending time with loved ones. He loved the Lord, adored his family, respected his community, and believed any day on the water was a good day. He will be greatly missed by all.

In addition to his loving wife, he is survived by their children, Ernie Parks and his wife, Rose, of Tangier and Lisa Pusey of Salisbury, MD; brothers, Larry Parks of Salisbury and Wayne Parks and his wife, Sarah, of Crisfield, MD; grandchildren; Lewis Wheatley and his wife, Kristan, of Westover, MD, Olivia Pruitt and her husband, Brian, all of Tangier, Trisha Wheatley and her fiancé, Brian Murphy of Princess Anne, MD, and Kayla Crockett and her husband, Nathan, of Tangier; great-grandchildren, Brandon, Peyton, Brody, Madi, Weston, Rowen, Elliott, Kelsey and Kole; and several nieces and nephews.

A private graveside service will be held in the Parks Family Cemetery.

Contributions in Ernest’s memory may be made to New Testament Church Mission Fund, c/o Danny McCready, P.O. Box 3, Tangier, VA 23440.

Memory tributes may be shared with the family at

Arrangements by the Williams Funeral Homes, Onancock, VA and Parksley, VA.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ernest Edward Parks, Sr., please visit our floral store.

Funeral Service


Private Interment

Parks Family Cemetery
West Ridge Road
Tangier, VA 23440


New Testament Church
PO Box 3, Tangier VA 23440

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