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History

History

Our funeral home has a unique history and committed relationship working within the community. We invite you to explore our legacy.

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.

Parks Brothers Funeral Service
PHONE: (405) 567-2237

114 South Fowler Street
Meeker, OK 74855

Parks Brothers Funeral Service
PHONE: (918) 968-2577

504 North 8th Avenue
Stroud, OK 74079

Parks Brothers Funeral Service
PHONE: (405) 258-1177

617 Manvel Avenue
Chandler, OK 74834


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