E. Parke Frizelle Jr., a longtime Whitefish resident, passed away on Sept. 5, 2017, at the Montana Veterans Home in Columbia Falls after a long illness.
He was born May 15, 1938, in Minneapolis to E.P. “Friz” Frizelle and Dorothy “Duc” Dryer Frizelle.
When he was 2 years old, his family moved to Billings and later to Butte where he was raised. Being a “Butte Guy,” as he called himself, lead to many friendships wherever he lived, and he was very proud to be from “Butte America.” He went to McKinley grade school and graduated from Butte High in 1956 and then enlisted in the Navy. After his honorable discharge from the Navy in 1959, he attended the University of Montana in Missoula where he was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity, skied with the UM Ski Team (’59-’60 — the last Griz ski team that was a varsity sport), and graduated with a degree in business administration.
In 1964, he accepted a position at First Bank Systems in Minneapolis as a credit loan analyst. Another banking opportunity took him to San Francisco in 1966 where he was a banker for many years, eventually becoming president of his own bank, Foothill Bank. In his spare time he could be found skiing or playing a lot of golf in and around California.
Parke moved back to his beloved Montana to Whitefish in 1982 with his family where he lived until he passed away. In his years in Whitefish, he worked for Veeneman Construction, managed Sportsman Ski Haus, was event bartender at Majestic Valley Arena, worked at Nelson’s Hardware, and worked for Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks.
He was an avid skier, outdoor sport enthusiast, and a ski racer spending many years skiing in Whitefish and other Western ski areas. He also was a regular on the golf course at Whitefish Lake Golf Club where he was a member for 30-plus years, getting in as many games as possible before golf season turned into ski season — when he would be found on Big Mountain on his skis.
During football season, Parke was glued to his TV, rooting for his favorite teams, or he was in the stands at Washington Grizzly Stadium in Missoula where he had season tickets for all the Griz home games. To say he was an avid football fan would be an understatement. He could call a play before the ref or announcer did.
He will be very sorely missed on the greens, on the hill, in the stands, in Whitefish, and in “Butte America” by his many longtime friends. He was a dynamic and magnetic personality who no one will forget. He will be especially missed by his “art major” soul mate, Nanci, whom he met five years ago and who has been with him since then, as well as throughout his long illness.
He was preceded in death by his parents, “Friz” and “Duc,” and his brother, Scott.
He is survived by his sister, Susan (Don) Craig, daughter Wendy, granddaughters Kolda, Tyra and Kelsie; and great-grandchildren Jace and Wyatt.
A May 2018 celebration is being planned.