Matthew Arthur Parks, 59, of Tucson, Arizona, died on Tuesday, July 4, 2017.\n\nHe was born in Chuquicamata, Chile on October 29, 1957. He lived in Monmouth County, New Jersey from 1959 through 2005 when he moved to Tucson, Arizona. He attended Middletown Village School, Thompson Junior High and graduated from Middletown North High School in 1976.\n\nHe was predeceased by his father, Charles L. Parks; his grandparents, Arthur S. Donnelly and Jessie Edith Ojeda Donnelly and Charles L. Parks and Anne Margaret Doolan Parks.\n\nHe is survived by his mother, Doreen J. Donnelly Parks of Oro Valley, Arizona; his sister, Cheryl Anne Parks Zarate of Denver, Colorado; his brothers, Kyle J. Parks of Sidney, Montana and Sean C. Parks of Katy, Texas; two nieces, Shannon and Aurora Zarate; two nephews, David J. Zarate and James P. Parks; four grand-nephews, Skyler, Ashton and Jorden Zarate and Joseph Montes; and two grand-nieces, Keegan and Quinn Parks.\n\nA memorial service will be held at Resurrection Lutheran Church, 11575 N.1 st Avenue, Oro Valley, Arizona 85737 on August 5, 2017 at 11.00am. Memorial donations can be made to Treatment Advocacy Center, 200 N. Glebe Rd., Suite 801, Arlington, VA 22203.\n\n\nEULOGY\n\nMost of you know something about Matt's health problems. I want to tell you a little about the real Matt found beneath the layer of problem health.\n\nThe most salient thing to know about Matt was the special relationship he had with his Grandma, my mother. When I brought Cheryl and Matt back to the States in 1958 he was three months old. We had an apartment in the same complex as my parents in North Bergen, NJ, on the Hudson River just across the river from 34th Street in Manhattan. We went to Grandma's for lunch every day and I would leave Matt there for his nap to separate him from Cheryl who wouldn't let him nap. He became Grandma's baby. We would go on Sunday drives, stop for a frozen custard and they would share a cone, his face covered by a white mask of vanilla ice cream. Toward the end of her life when she was in an assisted living home, Matt and I would visit her. He would boom "Grandma" as he walked into her room, her eyes would glow, he would kneel down, remove her slippers, put on her Easy Spirit oxfords, tie them, help her up and say "Come on, Grandma, Let's go get some ice cream." As a youngster, he would often spend the weekend in her apartment. All the kids did, but Matt spent the most weekends with her.\n\nMatt was exceptionally physically strong. My father found him at the closed bedroom door, escaped from his play pen where he was supposedly napping. He had shaken the playpen to the point where the slats came loose, fell out and he was able to make his escape and crawl to the door. \n\nMatt was an exceptional athlete as a youngster. He had superb eye-hand coordination. He played baseball from age six, first in Pioneer League, then in Little League, then in Babe Ruth League. He played outfield, third base and pitched. He was a strong hitter. When he was about twelve, I took him to watch a baseball game at Fort Monmouth where I worked and my Directorate had a team. They were short a player and a friend who knew Matt suggested putting him in the game. The team was not keen on this but finally decided to give it a try. They put him in the outfield. The first time he was up, he hit the ball over the fence. The opposing team yelled "ringer, ringer". Matt also played Pop Warner football and was on his Junior High wrestling team.\n\nMatt was an excellent swimmer. During the summers, the kids were all on the beach club swim team. They had weekly meets with other clubs. Matt swam freestyle and backstroke. Over the years he collected a sizeable stack of first and second place ribbons.\n\nMatt loved cars. He liked to go to classic car exhibits. As a teenager, he worked in an auto repair shop after school. He liked working with his hands. He enjoyed doing crafts.\n\nAll the promise shown in his early years was dashed by the severity of the mental illness that befell Matt in his late teens. For more than forty years he struggled to find a place for himself in this world. That he struggled for so long and never succumbed to defeat was his grandest achievement.\n\nMatt was kind. He was thoughtful and generous. Dogs loved him and he was always kind to all animals. Matt was gentle. He had a gentle soul. In spite of his mixed up mind, there were times when he would come out with such insightful remarks that we knew that the real Matt was in there somewhere. We all relished those times.\n\nAnd when he thought he was putting one over on you, he had a special grin and a twinkle in his blue eyes that reminded one of the little people gamboling in the green fields and hills of Ulster and Leitrim, with a sprinkling of the Scottish Highlands thrown in. We'll miss him but we are content that he is in God's hands, enjoying the peace and tranquility that escaped him in this world.