Robert Glen Parkhurst

Robert Glen Parkhurst (BS Elec Egr ’43) died October 25, 2011, after a battle with systemic metastasized prostate cancer. He was born November 3, 1921, in Effingham, Ill., the son of Ralph W. and Bernice S. Parkhurst. In the 1930s the family moved to Charlotte, Mich., where Parkhurst graduated from high school.

After graduating from MSU, Parkhurst was stationed during World War II in the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., performing engineering work in electronic countermeasures.

In 1945, Parkhurst joined the General Electric Company, Transmitter Division, where he designed medium- and high-power international broadcast radio transmitters. He was a member of the American Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Institute of Radio Engineers.

In 1948, Parkhurst married Ethel Clariece Jourdain of Lansing, Mich. Later he worked in international operations of General Electric, having managerial assignments with General Electric de Venezuela and General Electric de Mexico.

In 1957, Parkhurst was named international sales manager for General Electric's Commercial Electronics Equipment with headquarters in New York City. In 1961, he became export manager of General Electric Medical Systems (now GE Healthcare) in Milwaukee, Wis., a position he held for more than 20 years. During that time, General Electric Medical Systems was awarded the President's "E" Award and "Star" Award for exporting excellence.

Parkhurst was past president of the Milwaukee World Trade Association and served on the Wisconsin District Export Council for more than 15 years. He was also an adviser on international business to Wisconsin governors Lee Dreyfus and Tony Earl, serving on the Governor’s Advisory Council on International Trade during their administrations. He also lectured on international business at the University of Wisconsin, Lawrence University, and Carroll College. For 25 years, the Parkhursts lived in Brookfield, Wis.

Following his retirement from General Electric Company, the Parkhursts moved to Clearwater, Fla., where he was an active member of the Men's 18-Hole Golf Association. Parkhurst was also active for many years as a member of the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) Suncoast/Pinellas Chapter 115 and he was an active member of the Union Street United Methodist Church.

In 2006, the Parkhursts became residents of the Regency Oaks retirement community of Clearwater. In 2008, Parkhurst published his autobiography which was followed by a number of short stories and a genealogy of his family. His final publication was "Vignettes of Clariece," a tribute to his wife of 63 years.

He is survived by his wife; his two daughters, Susan Jean Shoemaker of Roscommon, Mich., and Carol Ann Tullio of Northridge, Calif., and her children (Peter, Paul, and Elizabeth); his son, Robert James Parkhurst of Cedar Park, Texas, and his children (Rachel, Joshua, and Allison) and Joshua's sons (Caleb, Abel, and Jeremiah).