Rod Parkes, 70, was animator on “Charlotte’s Web”

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Charlotte's Web

Charlotte's Web

Rodney Barton “Rod” Parkes, an animator on the 1973 feature film Charlotte’s Web and other Hanna-Barbera Studios productions, died Tuesday. He was 70.

Parkes worked on the series Hardy Boys (1969); Sabrina and the Groovie Goolies, Will the Real Jerry Lewis Please Sit Down and Archie’s Fun House (all 1970); Hong Kong Phooey (1974); and Dynomutt Dog Wonder (1976).

He was also an animator on the 1973 half-hour special All About Me. Released by Animated Cartoon Productions, it ran on NBC Children’s Theatre.

After working at H-B, Parkes moved back to Waterloo, Iowa, where he was an animator at an advertising studio.

Born in Franklin County, Iowa on August 21, 1941, Parkes was a 1960 graduate of East High School in Waterloo, Iowa. He participated in wrestling and baseball while in school. After graduating, he moved to Los Angeles, California to study at an art institute.

Following his animation career, he moved to Arizona to pursue a career in telephone contracting. From this venture, he went back to Iowa and started up Rio Communications with his brother. He then ended up in Indiana, taking Rio Comm. with him. For the next 15 years, Parks built upon his cable splicing business.

After shutting down operations at Rio Comm., he became employed by Communication Products Inc., where he worked with fiber optic cable. He retired from this position in 2007.

In his spare time, he enjoyed reading and watching movies about the old West. His favorite actors were always John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. He was also a fan of classic horror movies like Jaws and Halloween. He later took up the hobby of remote control airplanes, not so much flying them, but building them.

He took mind to every detail involved in the building process. Fishing was also a favorite pastime that Rodney he especially enjoyed with his younger son, Spenser.

Rod Parkes was precedeased by son Rod R. Parkes and and brother Bobby Ward.

Survivors include children Jessica Fritz of Brownstown, Iowa, Monique Toppe of Vallonia, Iowa and Spenser Parkes of Evansville, Iowa; grandchildren Hudson, Olivia, Beau, Molly, Dylan and Rhonda; sisters Beverly Becker of Dysart, Iowa and Connie Nation of Waterloo; twin brother Richard Parkes of Bullhead City, Arizona; and many nieces, nephews, great- and great-great-nieces and -nephews.

Arrangements were made through Hagarty-Waychoff-Grarup Funeral Service in Waterloo.

Donations can be made to the Jackson County Community Foundation for Brownstown Fund for the Arts.

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