“On To A New Adventure”
Glenn H. Parkin, age 91, died January 4, 2014. As he asked us to report, Glenn passed on to a new adventure. He was nearly a life long resident of Utah, mainly of Bountiful and North Salt Lake, serving for seven years in the US Navy during WWII.
Born in Bountiful, February 28, 1922, he was the third son of seven boys of Kimball Mann and Florence Hatch Parkin. He attended Davis High School and joined the Navy at age 18. He married Clara Lucy Platts, his childhood sweetheart (as he fondly remembered) of Bountiful, January 24, 1943. Solemnized in the Salt Lake LDS Temple 1971.
Glenn was happy to serve his country, which he dearly loved, serving first in the CCC’s during the Great Depression and later in the military. He joined the US Navy February 14, 1941, ten months before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. During that historic morning of December 7, 1941, Seaman Parkin was at sea on the USS Northampton, arriving at Pearl Harbor amidst its ruins the following day to greet his father, a US Navy employee who had been singled out and directly fired upon by a Japanese fighter during that early Sunday morning attack.
At sea during the war, Glenn survived many battles and the sinking of two vessels. The first was the heavy cruiser USS Northampton, sunk by two long lance torpedoes during the night action off Guadalcanal in December 1942. The second was the USS Hoel, a destroyer, sunk during day surface action off Samar, The Philippines, in October 1944. Earlier, while serving on the USS Northampton, one of his ship’s activities was to support the air craft carrier USS Hornet for the famed James Doolittle raid on Tokyo in April 1942. As a ship’s gunner, Seaman Parkin participated in the battles of Midway, the Solomons, Guadacanal, Wake Island, Marshall Island, Marcus Island and the Second Battle of the Philippines. The latter, where he lost his second ship, was known as the Battle of Leyte Gulf, recognized in the naval annals as “history’s greatest naval battle.” Bearer of the Purple Heart, he was one of 82 survivors of a crew of 337 at the sinking of his second vessel. In that conflict, some enemy crewmen from the Japanese super battleship Yamato, the world’s largest warship, saluted Glenn and other American sailors floundering chaotically in the water amidst waves and ocean debris.
He survived while hanging on to a floater net for 53 hours in the shark-infested Philippine waters with near-death encounters while thinking mostly of his dear mother at home. A decorated seaman, cited “for extraordinary heroism in action”, he continued after the war in the Naval Reserve as a Senior Chief Petty Officer in the Navy Seabees, and retired with 32 years of naval service. Glenn possessed a deep love for the Navy, believing that even with many difficulties, his early naval-war service provided him and other young men with one of life’s great training schools. Four of his brothers also served in World War II.
After the war, he and Clara raised a family. While their only daughter died at delivery, they happily raised their son, Jeffrey, who brought much joy into their lives, particularly as a national award winning performer and trainer of cheer leaders at the University of Utah and among Utah high schools. Jeffrey preceded his parents in death in 2005 at age 47. Adding to his full life, Glenn helped disabled children with the para-Olympics and with other volunteer services. He was a high priest in the LDS Church and served as a scout master. After the war, he spent much of his life as a worker on oil drilling rigs in Utah, Wyoming and Kansas and in mechanical maintenance at a North Salt Lake oil refinery and at a hospital. He loved the small adventures his employment and other activities brought, including fishing and gold panning Alaska with his brother, Orin.
He is survived by his wife, Clara; and his brothers, Orin, Salt Lake, Max (Yvonne), Salt Lake, and Bruce (Sharral), Bountiful.
Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m., Friday, January 10, 2014 at the Bountiful City Cemetery, 2224 S. 200 West. A viewing will be held Friday, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Russon Brothers Mortuary, 295 North Main, Bountiful, prior to services. Online guest book at www.russonmortuary.com.