Pastor Robert E. Park, 68, Bakersfield, CA (Corpsman)


Pastor Robert E. Park - Born April 25, 1942 in Salina, Kansas, Robert spent his younger years in Kansas until his parents, Patrick and Monica, moved the family to San Francisco. He was raised with his older brother, LeRoy, but separated from younger brothers, Patrick and William, who grew up in Hawaii. In recent years he was joyfully reunited with Patrick and William. While attending Capuchino High School in San Bruno, Robert became one of the popular "regulars" on "Dance Party," a daily TV show on KPIX, San Francisco, where he even had his own fan club! After graduation, he enlisted in the U. S. Navy in September, 1960, serving four years as a Corpsman with the U. S. Marine Corps, always having a deep love for our country. After returning from overseas, while stationed at Camp Pendleton, he met Rose Ann Park (affectionately called his "rosebud"), at a USO dance in Oceanside, California. He courted her through love letters in the mail for a year and they were married October 25, 1964. They lived in the San Fernando Valley, Saugus, Simi Valley, Post Falls, Idaho, and finally settled in Bakersfield in 1989. Their children, Nicholas (married to Carrie) and Monica (married to Earl) both reside in Bakersfield with their families. The Park family was involved in the Catholic church until Robert gave his heart and life to Jesus Christ in January, 1978 becoming a Born Again Christian. A life-changing event for him and his family, they began attending Grace Brethren Church, Simi Valley, where he was discipled by Pastor E. John Gillis, and enrolled in Grace Bible Institute, Long Beach. As new arrivals in Bakersfield in 1989, the family became members of Valley Baptist Church. Robert worked for 28 years as a service technician for Sears, followed by a time with Golden Empire Ambulance, then becoming Facilities Manager at Valley for several years. Always his heart's desire to serve the Lord with his life, God called him into full-time ministry, serving under Pastor Roger Spradlin. He was licensed and ordained to the Gospel Ministry and served as the Singles Minister for 8 years. He and his wife devoted their lives to helping singles find a Christ-centered purpose for their lives. Robert taught many Sunday School classes over the years but he and his wife's greatest passion was teaching married couples, helping them to build a Christ-centered marriage. Together they retired from their staff positions at Valley in September, 2009, but have continued to serve the Lord there. They loved being retired since it gave them so much time together, determined to "out-love" one another every day of their lives, a principle Robert taught to all married couples. Since being saved, Robert always looked for "opportunities" to tell people about Christ. He devoted an amazing amount of energy to discipling men, encouraging them to become men after God's own heart. Based on the Scriptures, Robert knew that to be absent from the body, he would be at home with the Lord. From the time he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in April, he amazed his doctors, family and friends with the excitement of his "homegoing" to Heaven to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Throughout his life Robert devoted himself to serving his wife, his children and his grandchildren who include Luke, Wyatt, Morgan, Cole, Paris, Tara, Madelyn, Claire, Jonathan and Nathan. Robert's brothers, Le Roy and Patrick, and their parents are deceased. His brother, Willy, lives in Oregon. The family will be forever grateful to Robert's Hospice Nurse, Amy Elliott, who gave spiritual encouragement, care, love and support to Robert and the entire family in a most difficult time of their lives. A memorial service will be held at Valley Baptist Church, 4800 Fruitvale Ave. on Friday, June 10th, at 10:00 a.m. A private family burial at Bakersfield National Cemetery will be held at a later time. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Wounded Heroes Fund in memory of Robert E. Park.