PULLMAN, Wash. – Robert W. Parkins, a WSU retiree who worked for the university from Sept. 1973 to June 2009, died Oct. 7, 2017, in an automobile accident.
Parkins, who lived in Troy, Idaho, retired from the College of Veterinary Medicine, last served as an animal facilities care manager.
Parkins, 68, “Old Smilie”, was a husband, dad, grandpa, son, brother, friend and a good man.
Parkins was born March 4, 1949, in Spokane to Joe and Joanne (Fredrickson) Parkins. He was raised outside of Troy with his sisters. His love for horses and cattle started at a young age with his grandfather Art, and then was cultivated by Clayton Gordon and Slim Smith. He attended school in Lewiston and Troy, where his athleticism made him excel in basketball and football. He graduated from Troy High School in 1969 and went on to attend Spokane Community College. In 1972 he went to work for the WSU School of Veterinary Medicine, where he continued to work for 38 years until his retirement. At WSU he worked on various projects, one being the design and fitting of the first equine prosthetic leg.
Parkins married Krista Senter on Sept. 3, 1971, settling into their family farm shortly thereafter. In 1975, they had their first daughter, Kode Jo, and in 1985 they welcomed Lindsey Rae into their family. He was very proud of his girls’ accomplishments.
He had a special and unique love for ranching and everything around it. He would put his day on hold just to help someone. Some of his best times were spent roping with friends and family. It wasn’t always in the roping pen that he used those skills but doctoring his own cattle in the open.
Parkins also had a passion for leather craft and made several saddles and other leather items.
He will be tremendously missed by his wife of 46 years, Krista; daughters, Kode Jo (Richard) Hansen, of Harvard, and Lindsey (Kelsey) Felton, of Lewiston; grandchildren, Kenzi and Kaney Hansen and Jace Felton; his mother, Joanne Parkins, of Troy; sisters, Kris Parkins, of Troy, and Betty (Marvin) Shoemaker, of Coeur d’Alene; and numerous cousins, aunts, uncles and friends in the surrounding area.
He was preceded in death by his father, Joe Parkins; grandparents Art and Irene Fredrickson; and aunt and uncle Marvin and June Cleveland.
A celebration of life will take place at 1 p.m. Nov. 18 at the Moscow Church of the Nazarene in Moscow.
Donations can be made in honor of Parkins to the Troy Fire department, Troy FFA or Shriners Hospital.