GreenBook photo:
Parkin, John Greenbook
Aegis photo:
Parkin, John Ralph Aegis

Dr. John Ralph Parkin, 76, of Bagley, MN died peacefully with his beloved wife and his bulldog Gracie by his side on Monday, August 28th, 2023, with a courageous battle of Large B-Cell Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

Celebration of John's Life Services will be held at 2:00pm, Saturday, September 16, 2023, at Cease Family Funeral Home in Bemidji, MN. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service.

John was born on June 6th, 1947, in Rochester, MN, the son of Ralph and Sarah (Hairsine) Parkin. He loved reading, swimming in the outdoor pool, hanging out with friends but his best memory was when the football coach asked him to come out for football and be the captain because John was the only one who would remember the plays. He had a paper route and saved every penny to pay for college. He enjoyed working for his parents at the store but learned quickly that the world of fashion just wasn't for him. He loved when his grandparents and parents would bring him to church so that he could have the opportunity to play with the babies and take care of them in the nursery early on his life. He graduated from Kasson High School in 1965. He traveled from 1965 to 1969 where he studied at Dartmouth University which is a private Ivy League college in Hanover, New Hampshire. He loved being on the rowing team and being an editor for the college newspaper. In 1969 he was accepted into the University of Minnesota Medical School, he did his internship in 1971 in Bemidji and graduated in 1973. From 1973 to 1975 he did an internship/residency in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. John then returned to Bemidji on August 18, 1975, to start his practice in Bemidji which was the old Bemidji Clinic next to the lake Bemidji downtown. He was also one of the major contributors in starting the new clinic/hospital where it currently resides. John was proud to say he was one of the first docs to work in the new ER where it still is today. He was proud to be a founder from the start and a member of the Beltrami County Child Protection Team from 1976-2010, to help protect the children. John was the "Northern MN doctor" in 1976 who reported the side effect of Guillain-Barre syndrome after receiving the Swine Flu immunization that led to this immunization to be suspended. He never liked bragging rights but was very happy that he caught this and reported it to prevent others from this happening to their loved ones. In 1980-1981, John traveled back to Dartmouth to complete another residency to become a Pediatric Physician. While still working in Bemidji he was employed with Wapiti Medical Staffing doing Emergency Room Locum Tenens, for 26 years he worked as a Physician in Bagley, Crookston, Mahnomen, Deer River, Big Fork, Park Rapids, Cook, Fergus Falls, Wadena, Roseau, Baudette, and Bemidji. From 2010-2023 he went to work with Wildgen and Wilimek to be a Pediatric Mental Health Provider continuing to see his ADD, ADHD, Depression, Bipolar patients and stayed when it transferred to Schackman and Kramer. In 2020-2022 while working still for Wapiti, he traveled during the shortage of COVID to the Ponca Tribe of Omaha and Norfolk Nebraska as a general Practice Physician.

John worked part time in Baudette, MN for CHI Lakewood Health in which he truly loved being a General Practice Physician and working with the staff of this organization. He knew in his heart that his last week in July of 2023 would be his last day of his career. He dedicated his life knowledge to giving and caring for patients for 48 years with dedication to all that he could serve.

John was a member of many area boards during his career in the medical field. He also oversaw many of the local summer camps within the Northern MN area. Outside of work John always loved just to be called by his given name of John.

John's favorite experiences over the years were his high school/college experiences with friends, long term friendships meant the world to him, including his fishing trips to Alaska, Canada, Wisconsin, Florida and Minnesota. He loved when his family would travel up to the North Shore for a stop at the fish market where he learned Smoked Salmon would be his favorite. Vacation/convention trips which led him and his family to Aruba, England, Hawaii, & Jamaica. John enjoyed working with coworkers and patients in and out of the office. Good times at the deer shack with several friends at Hackensack, MN. John enjoyed his Island Lake life at the cabin, pontoon rides, Netflix documentaries/movies and visiting with neighbors. For the last 5 years, he wintered some in Sanibel Florida and went on many adventures catching saltwater fish with Captain Joe and walked several miles with Pam looking for shells. His love for snowshoeing, walking on trails in the woods, there was never a lab that he didn't like and planting trees in the spring have been passed on to the family. In Cribbage, Yahtzee, Bingo and any card game, he would do his best to beat you. He enjoyed grilling on the briquette Weber grill even in the wintertime. John always took the backroads and never the main roads because of the beauty, less traffic and he would always say you can find the best food in some of the side bar and grills.

John is survived by his beloved wife, Pamela.

He was very blessed to have all these children/grandchildren in his life.
His sons, Daniel, Thomas (Lara) with grandson's Seth and Reed and Michael.
Daniel (Jen) with grandchildren, Makayla and Henry, Andrea (Tyler) with grandchildren, Hadley, Blake, and Julia, and Christopher.
Nicholas (Jenna), Brandon (Brittny Ali) with grandchildren, Sophia and Landon, Michael, and Zachary (Mikayla).
Siblings, Jim (Jan), Mary (Dave) and Ann (Larry) and many nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives.
Special friends, Laurie, May, Colton, Landon, Myron, Jill, Butch and the home health/hospice staff.
Pets, Gracie and Cruz.
John was preceded in death by his parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and other relatives and Tate, his rescue dog.


Freshman dorm
South Wigwam Hall



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