Friday, February 17, 1995 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Everett Firefighter's Death Remembered

EVERETT - Eight years after arson killed a firefighter and destroyed Everett Community College's library, the family, friends and co-workers of Gary Parks gathered yesterday to honor his memory.

Parks, an Everett firefighter, was killed Feb. 16, 1987, while battling an arson that destroyed the college's 40-year-old library and its collection of 48,000 books and periodicals, many of them irreplaceable. Just 20 months after the fire, the college completed a combination library and student center, dedicated as the Gary Parks Memorial Student Union.

Every year, those close to Parks return "to pause and reflect, think of Gary and the times we shared with him," said Capt. Larry Longley, president of the firefighters' union.

Parks was a prankster who loved to play volleyball, Longley said. "He was the spark of the game, and we always enjoyed him."

"It's hard - but it's wonderful" that the community continues to remember, said Parks' daughter, Erin Van Ry, one of seven relatives who attended.

Copyright (c) 1995 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.


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