Dennis Leroy (Denny) Parbs, 72 years old and a 45-year resident of Coupeville, died Monday, Nov. 23, 2015 after a very courageous battle with cancer. He died at home with the help of Hospice of Whidbey, family and friends. He was born Dec. 7, 1942 in Kankakee, Ill., to Harvey Parbs and Bertha (Gillespie). He has one brother, Brad Parbs and wife Lyn, and one sister, Rita VanArnam and husband Jack.
Denny graduated from Roberts/Thawville High School in Roberts, Ill. He attended Skagit Valley College, the FBI and the ATF National Fire Academy.
After high school, he trained for and became a cement finisher, which he continued for 10 years before moving to Oak Harbor in July of 1970. He went to work right away for Bob Aus at the Kings Table Restaurant and Bar. Denny was the bartender. While working at the bar, a Kiwanis member found out he was a cement finisher and asked him to pour a ramp to the beach for disabled children. Of course, he was very happy to help. Denny was always generous with his time and skills whenever people would ask him for help.
People kept asking for cement work so often that he decided to start his own business, “Island Cement Contractors.” He had the business until 1980 when he decided he was ready for a change and wanted to work for someone else. He became the Island County Building Inspector and fire marshal. In 1983 he joined Unified Investigation and Sciences Inc. He was employed as a private fire investigator/territorial manager. He traveled as far as the Arctic Circle receiving a certificate as proof of being “On top of the world.” He loved his job and the people and friends he worked with. He had to retire in 2010 because of his illness.
He loved boating, fishing and crabbing with his sons and cousin Michael. He enjoyed his horses and the many trips into the mountains with friends. His most memorable trip was on his Harley Road King to Sturgis with his son Keith.
He enjoyed camping at Skagit River Woods with his wife Carol and friend Greta. Denny always made lifetime friends. He was very generous and kind. He touched many lives while here on Earth.
Denny is survived by his loving wife Carol of 45 years; three sons: Patrick Parbs of Arlington, Texas; Wade Parbs of Boise, Idaho, and Keith Parbs and wife Renetta of Boise, Idaho; three grandchildren: Whitney Parbs, Dyllin Parbs and Baylie Parbs; brother-in-law Vince Cox and wife Rosie; two great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
He is predeceased by his parents, Harvey and Bertha Parbs, and sister-in-law Cathie Cox.
There will be a celebration of life for Denny from 2-5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 16 for family and friends at the Coupeville Recreation Hall located at 901 N.W. Alexander St. in Coupeville.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent in Denny’s name to Gifts From the Heart food bank in Coupeville or to the WAIF animal shelter, also in Coupeville.