Over 60 residents and city officials attended the Robert L. Parks Boulevard dedication ceremony, which was held April 13 at Robert L. Parks Funeral Home.
Nicie Parks, wife of the late Robert L. Parks, originally went before city commissioners at their January meeting to petition them about renaming South Broad Street in honor of her husband.
At the meeting, she told commissioners that her husband was an advocate of racial equality and quality education in Polk County.
He has helped both black and white and all the races, she said. They might not talk about it but we know that he has done many things.
Commissioners agreed at that meeting to rename the street, which has long been the location of Robert L. Parks Funeral Home.
The numerous speakers at the dedication ceremony last Thursday echoed those same sentiments, speaking on how Robert Parks had touched their lives personally and the community as a whole.
Former Senator Nathan Dean spoke of the former funeral home directors impact on Georgia politics, calling him a friend of senators and governors.
He did things for this county and Georgia that makes it a better place to live, Dean said.
Bishop David Huskins of Cedar Lake Christian Center, who presided over the dedication ceremony, called Parks a landmark and the the voice of conscious in the community.
Huskins said that Parks, after being diagnosed with cancer, approached him for prayer one Sunday at Cedar Lake Christian Center. It was not a miraculous healing that Parks was praying for, however; only for the grace to endure his suffering.
Many of those who spoke, including those that worked with Parks in the funeral home business, said that he took great pride in his work and was never late for appointments.
Other speakers, like Cedartown resident Susan Darden, discussed how Parks had made a difference in their personal lives.
He kept me in line, she said. You could talk to him when you couldnt talk to your parents.
Joseph Arrington of Atlanta described Parks as his mentor, conscious, friend and role model.
The ceremony then moved outdoors, where a road sign
reading Robert L. Parks Blvd. was unveiled to applause from those in attendance.
Nicie Parks said that she thanked commissioners for their cooperation in renaming the street.
Loretta Parks, daughter of Robert and Nicie Parks, told the audience earlier that while the renaming of South Broad Street was a great accomplishment, her father would want the community to keep pressing forward, recounting a statement he once told her.
Do not become content, she said. When you become content you cease to grow.