Harrell Funeral Home of Austin
4435 Frontier Trail
Austin, TX 78745
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Thomas Alan Park died peacefully and surrounded by his family on June 19, 2022 in Austin, Texas. He was born on October 24, 1952, in Dallas, Texas, to Charles Gabriel Park and Sherley Gardner Park. As a child, he taught himself guitar on his 195... Read More
Thomas Alan Park died peacefully and surrounded by his family on June 19, 2022 in Austin, Texas. He was born on October 24, 1952, in Dallas, Texas, to Charles Gabriel Park and Sherley Gardner Park. As a child, he taught himself guitar on his 1952 Fender Telecaster (which he would often later lament was sold by his parents in a garage sale) igniting his lifelong love of music. While attending High School at Highland Park, Tom continued to perfect his skills as a rock guitarist, played quarterback on the football team, and began dating his future wife, Jenny Lou Lawrence. After graduating in 1971, Tom and Jenny Lou both attended Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. While at Southwestern, Tom DJ'd for the campus radio station, was active in the Kappa Alpha fraternity, and graduated in three years with a Bachelor's of Business Administration. Shortly after graduating, Tom married Jenny Lou. They were married for 48 years.
As newlyweds, Tom and Jenny Lou moved to Austin where Tom played guitar and Jenny Lou sang in the rock bands Possum Trot and Talewind. They could be found playing at many Austin venues, including the Armadillo World Headquarters alongside bands like Asleep at the Wheel, Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen, Kinky Friedman, and Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks. During this time, Tom became news director of KLBJ in Austin, earning him and Jenny Lou invitations to parties at the Johnson Ranch (until their clothing choices and free-spirited demeanor rescinded such invitations).
In 1980, after the 'Dillo was shut down, demolished and replaced with an office building, Tom and Jenny Lou moved back to Dallas and continued to play music in a rock cover band called Rock Bottom. Their two sons were born in 1982 and 1986, and during this time Tom began to use his voice and acting talents in advertising. He wrote and produced car commercials that were shown in markets across the country, and soon Tom's face and voice became well known nationwide.
While Tom and Jenny Lou loved their friends and family in Dallas, they were not as enamored with its scenery or politics. In 1992, they succumbed to Austin's continued call and moved back to raise their children in a weirder town. Tom's advertising business continued to thrive, and though he and Jenny Lou no longer played in a band, Tom still played the guitar every day-even taking classical guitar lessons. He also spent more time participating in his two other lifelong loves--golf and fishing.
Tom was known to his friends and family as the man with the dynamic personality, quick wit and funny quips. You couldn't have a conversation with him without receiving a large smile and a memorable phrase. He believed that a man should be as good as his word, and that a handshake was as binding as a written contract. He will be remembered as a wonderful father, grandfather, brother and uncle who made a lasting impression through the love he showered upon his family. Even while battling cancer for almost twenty years, he remained a true free spirit and perpetual optimist with a rock and roll attitude. He will also be remembered as the friend who didn't know a stranger, brought the party wherever he went, and made everyone laugh.
Tom is survived by his beloved wife Jenny Lou, their sons Robert Matthew Park (Carly Nichole Park) of San Antonio and Andrew Lawrence Park (Koa Estes Park) of Universal City; granddaughters Claire Park, Cora Park, Catelin Park, Rhyan Patterson and Andyn Park, sisters Charlotte Park Smith (James Smith) of Dallas and Margaret Sherley Park Little of Dallas, as well as many nieces and nephews, all of whom love him dearly. He is also survived by a legion of friends from all parts of the country and all walks of life. They are a part of his legacy and are appreciated for their love and support.
The family plans on having a celebration of Tom's life at some time in the near future. Details will be forthcoming.
Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in this book.
We encourage you to share your most beloved memories of Thomas here, so that the family and other loved ones can always see it. You can upload cherished photographs, or share your favorite stories, and can even comment on those shared by others.
3 trees were planted in the memory of Thomas Park
3 trees were planted in the memory of Thomas Park
3 trees were planted in the memory of Thomas Park
5 trees were planted in the memory of Thomas Park
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