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Gallatin, Tenn. -- Charles "Charlie" C. Parks Jr., 70, of Gallatin, Tenn., died of a heart attack while biking in Italy.
Parks owns a grocery distribution company in Gallatin that serves convenience stores in the southeastern United States. The business, Charles C. Parks Co., was founded by Parks’ father in 1934.
"Sumner County has lost one of its best friends with the passing of Charles Parks," Sumner County Executive Hank Thompson said. "His family and his company are vital parts of this community, and we thank them for that. Our hearts and deepest sympathy are with his wife, children, friends and employees at this time."
Parks graduated from Vanderbilt University. He served as president of Charles C. Parks Co. for 41 years and was the chairman of the board for First Tennessee Bank in Gallatin. In addition to his business interests in the community, Parks was also a member of the Bluegrass Country Club and the Club at Fairvue Plantation.
Bill Bowen, president of the Gallatin Region of First Tennessee Bank, said Parks was a savvy businessman.
"If you went to Charles’ office - the thing that would strike you the most was that he was a neat and orderly person," Bowen said. "He was a brilliant businessman. I will miss Charles’s wisdom the most and his business sense."
Parks cared about his employees, Bowen said.
"If you look at the tenure of the employees, some have been there 25 to 30 years," Bowen said. "It’s just a big family there. He was a very caring and compassionate boss and leader."
Parks is survived by his wife, Yancey Parks; son, Crockett Parks; daughter-in-law, Tabathia; and a daughter, Mary Yancey Parks.