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Born: Jan 08, 1943

Date of Passing: May 17, 2022

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It is with profound sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Ronald Allan Parkes on May 17, 2022 at the age of 79 years.
Ron was born on January 8, 1943, eldest of seven. He grew up and attended school in East Kildonan. From 1960 to 1962, Ron served in the Canadian Forces Reserves, Fort Garry Horse, 10th Armour Regiment. He enlisted in the US Army in 1962 and served in Fort Campbell, Kentucky where he trained as a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division. In the summer of 1965, he volunteered for a tour of duty in Vietnam, serving in the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division Screaming Eagles on a 105mm howitzer gun crew, B-Battery, 2nd of the 320th Artillery. Ron was honourably discharged and resumed his civilian career. He worked as a longshoreman in northern BC, and an iron worker throughout Western Canada, before his 20-year career as a Correctional Officer for the Province of Manitoba. After retirement, Ron was diagnosed with Parkinson's, but that didn't stop him from getting a part time job as a security officer at the Centennial Concert Hall, which he enjoyed for many years.
Ron was a motorcycle enthusiast and in his continuing quest for adventure was a member of the Spartans Motorcycle Club in its formative years. Ron and Connie enjoyed many years touring Canada and the US with the group. In 1974 Ron was involved in a serious motorcycle accident, and his riding days were over.
Ron co-founded and was the current President of the Canadian Vietnam Veterans Association, successfully advocating for benefits for Canadian Vietnam Veterans. Ron was also a proud member of the Prince Edward Legion Branch #81, and a member of the VVA (Vietnam Veterans Association) North Dakota Chapter #374.
In 1993, Ron and Connie purchased a home in Lancaster, MN where they and their family spent many happy summers, and were actively involved in the community. Especially memorable was the annual Labor Day Weekend gathering of Canadian and American Vietnam veterans and their families that Ron and Connie hosted in Lancaster.
Ron is survived by his loving wife, Connie; and children, Greg, Jeff (Janice), Penney and Kelly; grandchildren, Jordan, Joshua (Angie), Jessica, Joel, Kodey, Tyler and Sara; great-grandchildren, Parker, Willow, Clover, Gavin and Taryn; his siblings, Wes (Pat), Bill (Suzie), Mary Lynne (Tom), Brian (Bonnie), Sandra (Darrell); sister-in-law, Kathy, and numerous nieces and nephews. Ron was predeceased by his father Clifford, mother Iris, brother Barry, brother-in-law Tom, and son-in-law Grant.
A celebration of Ron's life will be held on Thursday, May 26 at 1:00 p.m. at Klassen Funeral Home, 1897 Henderson Highway.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Canadian Vietnam Veterans Association, c/o Rob Purvis, 813 Nottingham Ave., Winnipeg, MB R2K 2C9.

Rest easy, Ron.
"We don't say goodbye,
we say see you later."

Condolences may be sent to

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on May 21, 2022

Condolences & Memories (15 entries)

  • I met Ron and the guys after getting out of the U.S. Marines in the 1989. The CVVA group was home to me, being in the the U.S. Military. Many good memories serving with the CVVA ...I was shocked seeing in peace Ron ...I will see you again one day when the creator shows me the way...Burke - Posted by: Burke Ratte (CVVA MEMBER) on: Jun 25, 2022

  • Condolences to the entire family. RIP. Ron - Posted by: Dale Barylski (Cousin) on: May 25, 2022

  • I had the privilege of working with Ron for seven years at the Centennial Centre until his retirement. Ron was an exemplary Security Officer. He always showed up to work with his uniform clean and pressed, and his shoes were always shined. He was a kind and friendly man, but didn't shy away from conflict. No matter what would happen, you could count on Ron as backup. I enjoyed working many shows over the years with him; we would often sit for a coffee while he told me many long stories of his adventures in his time in Vietnam, or working in Corrections. He would sometimes bring his Vietnam album and would spend hours sharing the stories behind each photo with me. He remembered every detail I asked about in every photo, even fifty years later. Ron had a great sense of humor, and an immense sense of duty and pride in his work. Even when he suffered from health issues, he still came to work and gave 110% as he worked through them. You could always count on him to be there, no matter what. He was a great coworker, and a good friend. I will miss him greatly. Sincerest condolences to the family, especially his wife Connie who he often spoke of with love and fondness. Thank you for all the good times Ron. You were a true Screaming Eagle your entire life. - Posted by: Michael McKubok (Coworker) on: May 24, 2022

  • Ron was dear friend from years gone by, I always enjoyed his company and his outlook on life. He sure was a special person. I was hoping to spend some time with him, but it just didn’t happen. He sure loved his north Kildonan Legion. We’ll meet up with you further down the road Ron. Happy trails my friend. My sincere condolences to his family and close friends and members. - Posted by: Jules Desjarlais (Club member) on: May 23, 2022

  • I have his C..V. and I thank him for his service.He will be in our prayers and I will make I will be informing the Nam Knights, police officier and vétérans, so that they can join me in the recognition of Ronald Allen Parkes an héros who have served in Canada and U.S.A. militaries. R.I.P. - Posted by: Roger Robidoux (Canadian Vietnam Association-Quebec) on: May 23, 2022

  • My sincere Condolences to family & friends of Ronald's. From one old vet to another's memory, thank you for your many accomplishmwnts, under fire, in the field & @ home. RIP. - Posted by: John McCormick sr. (Veteran, Korea & Vietnam.) on: May 22, 2022

  • Barb and I send our sincere condolences to Bill & Sue and extended family on the loss of their brother Ron. God Bless Ron (Jim) & Barb Campbell - Posted by: Ronald Campbell (Family Friend) on: May 22, 2022

  • I am saddened to read of Ron’s passing. I knew Ron and Connie in the late 80s a early 90s as an associate member of the Canadian Vietnam Veterans Association. Ron’s passion for ensuring recognition for the 30-40,000 Canadian Vets was awe inspiring to see. Rest In Peace Ron. My deepest condolences to Connie and the rest of the family. - Posted by: Judi McFarland (Friend ) on: May 21, 2022

  • So very sorry to hear of Ron’s passing. Sincere condolences to family and friends. - Posted by: Hal Laffin (Friend) on: May 21, 2022

  • Connie and family sorry for your loss. - Posted by: peggy buffie (friend) on: May 21, 2022

  • Sorry to hear of Ron's passing. Remember many good times in the past when we were out riding or at events. Condolences to his wife & family. - Posted by: George Roberton (Friend) on: May 21, 2022

  • Very sorry for your loss. Thoughts are with you. - Posted by: Pat Myketa (Former co-worker with Wes) on: May 21, 2022

  • I am shocked to hear of Ron’s passing. We go back a long way over the years. It was great we got together last year in Oakbank. Connie and family please accept my sincere condolences and please try to be strong during this difficult time. RIP Ron. 🙏🙏🙏 - Posted by: John Scollan (Friend) on: May 21, 2022

  • I met Ron and Connie many years ago when I went to club parties. Interesting we were both Garries. My condolences to his family. A life well lived. - Posted by: Scott Miner (Family Friend) on: May 21, 2022

  • We have been friends for many years and also worked with Ron.... Ron and Connie were also great friends with my parents for many years Our Thoughts and Prayers are with the family.... - Posted by: Bob and Sheila Webb (Friends) on: May 21, 2022

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