History & Staff
We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.
As is the case with many long-standing, multi-generational funeral homes, ours began as something else – a hardware store. It was 1913 when Roy and Lonnie Parks came from their home in Oxford, Mississippi, to Paden, Oklahoma to open a general store. Three years later, they moved to Prague and opened their store on Broadway. This location proved to be the home of Parks Brothers Hardware for over 80 years.
In 1919, brothers Cliff and Jack Parks joined Roy. During the early years, it was standard practice for hardware and mercantile stores to sell caskets to the general public on a "carry out" basis. In the mid 20's, Cliff saw the need to offer the additional service of undertaking.
Accordingly, they began offering caskets with or without undertaking. The business became known as Parks Brothers Hardware and Undertaking Company. Cliff arranged for a younger brother, W. R. Parks, to attend mortuary school in Dallas, Texas, and become a licensed embalmer. On January 1, 1928, W. R. Parks began doing the embalming for the funeral homes in Prague and Okemah.
In 1936, Roy and Cliff decided the time had come to move the undertaking operation out of the hardware store to a freestanding building. They constructed a new brick building located at 1008 North Broadway in Prague. This building was the first building in the area built strictly for a funeral home. It served as Parks Brothers Funeral Home until 1982.
In 1960, Asa Smith joined the firm as manager of the Parks Brothers Funeral Home in Okemah. Later, with the help of J. P. Parks, he purchased the Wilson Funeral Home in Harrah.
In 1976, Jim Parks and his family acquired the ownership of Parks Brothers Hardware and Undertaking Company. Jim managed the funeral home while the other brothers looked after the hardware store. In 1982, a dedication ceremony was held for the present location of the funeral home.
In 1985, Parks Brothers Funeral Home of Prague merged with the Curry Funeral Homes of Chandler, Stroud, Meeker, and Wellston. Following the death of Asa Smith in February of 2000, Jim Parks and Cass Smith decided to continue the long-standing association of their families and formed Asa Smith-Parks Funeral Service Centers. In April of 2016 Jim Parks passed away and his legacy continues through the purchase of the funeral homes by Chad Vice and Dirk O'Hara. Today they operate Funeral Service Centers in Harrah, Prague, Chandler, Meeker and Stroud.
Community And Charity Involvement
Since 1976, Parks Brothers Funeral Service has contributed over $100,000 in support of area public schools, school projects, and public school foundations. PBFS continues to invest in the future of its communities by supporting local Chambers of Commerce and taking a proactive role in city and county government.
In 1989, when the Prague Historical Museum was founded and needed a building to house their collection, Jim made a building available to them at no charge. Jim was the past-president of the Prague Chamber of Commerce, past-president of the Lion's Club, founding member of the PACE (Prague Athletic, Civic, and Education) Foundation, president of Prague Builders, charter member of Prague Historical Society, and was active in St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church.
Cass Smith is a member of the Harrah Economic Development Impact Committee, a community director for BancFirst, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Business Advisory Board for the Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center, a volunteer for the Harrah Historical Society. He is an active member of the Freewill Baptist Church of Harrah. He has recently added to his busy schedule in becoming a member of the Harrah City Council, and engaging in the activities of the Oklahoma Speakers Ball.
PBFS encourage their employees to participate in their communities, and are committed to providing them with the time needed to remain involved in community organizations and events. One of the directors is Vice-Mayor of the City of Chandler and several other staff members are active in Kiwanis, the Lion's Club, various churches in the area, the BPW, a thriving organization of business and professional women, and local alumni associations - just to name a few.
Our Valued Staff
Jim Parks, "In Memory Of"
Jim was the third generation of the Parks Family to provide funeral service in Lincoln County and the surrounding area. He was the fourth generation of his family to live in Lincoln County. He graduated with honors from the University of Oklahoma in 1975 with a BBA in Accounting. While at O.U. he was named Big Man On Campus, Top Ten Greek Men, Sooner Standout and was selected by the O. U. Year Book as their Outstanding Senior Man. He graduated from the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science in 1976. Since that graduation he continuously owned and operated Parks Brothers Funeral Service. He was active in many civic organizations including past president of the Chamber of Commerce, past president of the Lion's Club, president of Prague Builders Association, and former parish council member of St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Prague. He was an Eagle Boy Scout. Jim and his wife Janet had five children, Kristina, Doug, Becky, J. P. “Jade” , and Kash. In addition to their children, Jim and Janet had three grandchildren. Janet’s mother, Pearl Kaltenbach and Jim’s Mother, Margaret Parks both make their home in Prague. Their fathers are deceased. Jim served as a Governor’s appointee to the Oklahoma Funeral Board. Jim passed away on April 15, 2016 at the age of 62.
Preston J. McCurtain
Preston grew up in the Pauls Valley, OK area and started working at the local funeral home at the age of 14. His dream then was to serve families at their greatest time of need and he is continuing his dream today. He later attended college at Murray State College in Tishomingo, OK, finishing his degree at the University of Central Oklahoma with a degree in Mortuary Science. He later moved to Perry, OK where he met his wife and worked at a family-owned funeral home for 6 years. Preston accepted a position at Havenbrook Funeral Home in Norman and served there for 4 years until he was asked to join the Tribute Memorial Care Team. He is currently working in the Lincoln and Oklahoma County area at the Parks Funeral Service. Preston has served on the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Norman Board, the Rotary Club of Perry, and Leadership Moore. He currently is involved in the Cross Timbers Rotary Club of Norman, the Moore Chamber Advisory Board, the Moore Chamber Government Relations Committee, and he is a Moore Chamber Ambassador. Preston was involved in the Plaza Towers Memorial that was built on the grounds of Plaza Towers Elementary, due to an F-5 tornado that destroyed the school and 7 students lives were lost on May 20, 2013. He and his wife Nikki, a current teacher at Plaza Towers Elementary, live in the Moore/Norman area and are proud to call it home. They are the proud parents of Cohen Reid, born on Sept 16, 2014.
Castle "Cass" Smith
Cass was born while his parents lived in the apartment above the Parks Brothers Funeral Home in Okemah. He follows his father, Asa Smith, in the family tradition of funeral service. He has lived in Harrah since 1972. He graduated from Central State University in 1984 with a BA in Psychology. Cass is a member of the Harrah Economic Development Impact Committee, a community director for BancFirst, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Business Advisory Board for the Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center, and a member of the Freewill Baptist Church of Harrah.
Matthew Jon Leeper
Matt is from McAlester, Oklahoma and currently resides in Jones, Oklahoma. He attended Eastern Oklahoma State College and received a Bachelor's Degree in Funeral Service at the University of Central Oklahoma in 1990. He has been active in both Lions Clubs and Rotary Clubs and he is a member of the Newalla First Baptist Church. Matt has been with Smith-Parks Funeral Service as a funeral director at the Harrah location since 2001.
Kent is from Oklahoma City. He graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1976 with a BS in funeral service, and a BA in business administration. Kent operated Sherman Photography in Chandler for 15 years. Kent is married to Kathy and they have 2 children, Darin and Stacey. His family has been active in the First United Methodist Church of Chandler for 32 years. Kent has been with Parks Brothers Funeral Service since 1991 as a funeral director.
Doug Lokey CPA
Doug is a Prague native. He received a BBA in accounting from the University of Central Oklahoma and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1991. Doug joined Parks Brothers in 1998 as Treasurer overseeing all financial and administrative functions. Doug is a member of St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Prague and is active in many civic activities.
Mike is a native of Chandler. He is a member of the Chandler First Baptist Church and Chandler Rotary Club. Mike has served in various positions with Parks Brothers Funeral Service for the past 22 years. He is currently the office manager and Licensed Insurance Agent at the Chandler location. Mike also coordinates all services details between locations.
Janet, originally from Okmulgee, graduated from Prague High School. She worked at the Prague Clinic for six years as an office nurse and also served as Clinic manager. Janet joined Parks Brothers Funeral Service in 1996 as the office manager for the Prague location.
Gina is a native of Harrah, Oklahoma and currently resides in Choctaw, Oklahoma. She graduated from Harrah High School and is the current President of the Harrah High School Alumni Association. She is a member of the board of directors for the Harrah Senior Citizens Center. She has over 20 years experience in the insurance industry and is a Certified Insurance Service Representative. Gina joined Smith-Parks Funeral Service in October, 2002, and is currently the office manager for the Harrah location and helps all locations with their insurance needs.
Mary Margaret Greene
MM is from Okemah, Oklahoma. She attended the University of Oklahoma and is a graduate of the Ray Vogue School of Fashion, Chicago, IL. She retired from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas following 29 years of service. Following her retirement, she moved to Prague to join her family in the operation of the funeral homes. MM is a member of Prague United Methodist Church, a PEO with Chapter AF, and is on the boards of directors of the Prague Kolache Festival and the Okemah Alumni Association.