Frederick H. Parkin (1953)

Fred Parkin, fifth President of the Highland Park Community Club, was an extroverted man who loved microphones, podiums, and parties. At the club's annual picnics, Parkin arranged for the bullhorn rental from the Glo Radio company. Announcing electic mixer and travel iron raffle winners at the annual family picnic at North Park was simply another chance to get behind the bullhorn. Parkin was the organizational force behind twelfth-night burnings until city passed a law against it. He was so extroverted in his activities, his motto might have been, "Have so much fun that they have to legislate against it." Parkin's brother Bill was also a club member, and the exact opposite of Fred. As much as Fred was extroverted, Bill was introverted. Fred and Bill were born and grew up in the house that their grandfather owned on the northwest corner of Hampton and Negley Avenues. Their great-grandfather Charles Parkin immigrated to the United States and started Parkin Manufacturing in 1880, which continues as the family-run Parkin Chemical Company in Lawrenceville. Fred Parkin attended Fulton School, Shadyside Academy, and Princeton University. He joined the army and served four years of combat duty as a highly-decorated captain of a tank destroyer unit in North Africa and Europe. When he was thrown off a German tank, he received a bruise to his back and came home for one month's medical leave. While he was in the VA hospital came one of the high points of his life: the war in Europe ended. Parkin started his post-war life with his wife and newborn son by moving to Wayne Road and going to work for his father in 1946. Over the next three decades, the two brothers successfully transformed the company from a steel and forging company into a chemical company specializing in industrial corrosion inhibitors. As a member of the Lion's Club, and President of University Club in Oakland, Parkin believed strongly in America, community and service. As a leader of the Highland Park Community Club, Parkin ran the four dens of Cub Scout Pack 17. Whether leading boys across the Highland Park Bridge for a weekend camp at Guyasuta in Aspinwall or leading the club's social events from behind a microphone, Parkin is remembered as a person who made everything he was involved in a lot of fun.