James R. Parkhurst

James R. Parkhurst, 93, of Elroy passed away Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, at Elroy Health Services in Elroy.

He was born Sept. 6, 1928, to James Sr. and Laura (Travinck) Parkhurst in La Farge, Vernon County, Wis. On Dec. 25, 1947, James and Mary J. Winchel knocked on the door of the local pastor’s house and asked to be married. This year, they would have celebrated 74 years of marriage together.

Early on in life, Jim worked on the family farm. Later, he was a self-employed well driller for over 45 years, owner and operator of Jim Parkhurst Well Drilling Company. Jim was a hobby inventor and had a brilliant mind for mechanics, being able to just about fix anything that was set in front of him. After his long days drilling, he would often come home to endless list of side work, fixing just about anything from ______ to ______ for neighbors and friends. Fill in the blanks with your imagination; if it was mechanical, he had fixed it one time or another. Jim and Mary lived through some challenging times but also in times of great joy and abundant love, facing each day side by side, together. Though he often focused his thoughts on mechanical glitches or puzzles, Mary could easily draw his attention away with her delicious cooking, which he was very fond of … especially her cookies.

He is survived by his loving wife, Mary of Elroy; his children, Randy (Sandy) Parkhurst of Orfordville, Wis., and Deborah Parkhurst of Lexington, Ky.; his grandchildren, Guy Parkhurst of Janesville, Nicole Pergande of Fond du Lac, Wis., Regina Flister of Janesville, Joel Yoakum of DeKalb, Ill., Jeremy Yoakum of Cherry Valley, Ill., and Erin Root of Indianapolis, Ind.; 15 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild. He is further survived by a sister, Donna Jean Parkhurst of Viroqua; his in-laws, Frank Winchel and Myrtle Melvin; and nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends. 

He was preceded in death by his parents; a daughter, Lorna; and his siblings, Dorothy Lindloff, Joseph Parkhurst, Herb Parkhurst, Jon Parkhurst, and Doris Hissey. 

A celebration of life will be announced at a later date. The Smith-Nelson Funeral Home in Kendall is assisting the family.

Online condolences can be offered to the family by visiting www.sonnenburgfamilyfh.com.

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