Four Generations at Parkway
My parents, Marge and Milford and their family, John, Kent, and Sue, moved to West County from Alton, IL, in 1960. We began alternating each Sunday between my mother’s church, Alton UCC, and my dad’s church, Brown Street Baptist. After a brief search, they found a warm and inviting congregation at Parkway UCC which had just called a new minister, Rev. Brice Chidester who with his wife, Leola, quickly became good friends. Because of my interest in all things electrical, Rev. Chidester started calling me “Edison.” Many long time members of the church became good friends of our family. I remember Ed Kraus giving each of us kids a quarter on Sunday mornings just for being there. My grandfather Herzberger would occasionally visit and loved to talk to Ed and members of German descent with whom he could speak German. My mother joined the choir and my dad served as Council Treasurer. Mother also typed the monthly newsletter, then went to the Sunday school building, now the Children’s Choir offices, to print copies. I often went with her for I loved sniffing the paper when it came off the mimeograph machine. My brother, sister, and I were active in Sunday school and all were confirmed here.
I entered University of Missouri–Rolla in 1970, earned an Electrical Engineering degree and a job at McDonnell Douglas. In 1981 I married Evelyn Salmons in the historic sanctuary at Parkway. We had three children, Jameson, Steven, and Sara, all baptized and confirmed at Parkway. They were in youth groups and attended summer mission trips. Tragically, Evelyn died from cancer in 1994. With considerable help from my parents and many Parkway friends, the children and I made it through the next several years. I then met Diane (who shared a birthday with Evelyn), fell in love and we married at Parkway in 1998. Diane joined Parkway and was active in many organizations, then decided to return to the Lutheran church, the denomination she had long been a member of, but she is still a regular participant in Parkway’s Sweet Bakers.
With marriage to Diane, I gained stepsons Ryan and Mike and seven grandchildren. Son Jameson married April Troup in 2008, and daughter Sara married Nick Endejan in 2014. Nick’s daughter added another grandchild and last December, Jameson and April had a baby girl, my first biological grandchild, named Evelyn Grace in honor of Jameson’s mother. Our grandchildren now number 9!
My father, Milford, lives at Friendship Village Care Center in Chesterfield. We bring him to church as often as possible. It is not unusual to see Jameson, April, and Evelyn with Milford and me in Sunday worship. It has been a rare blessing being a member of the Parkway family for four generations!