February 28, 1946 - May 17, 2017
Michael Park died unexpectedly on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 in the Health Sciences Centre at the age of 71 years.
He leaves his wife of 48 years, Caroline; son Ethan Park (Heather); daughter Erin Heier (Ross), and grandchildren Lily and Ivy Park and Zoey and Deckard Heier.
Michael was a long-time antiquarian bookseller and the current President of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of Canada. He was the founder of Greenfield Books in Crescentwood and a professor and practicing lawyer in Edmonton in his early years. His presence will be sorely missed.
Cremation has taken place and a celebration of his life will be held on Thursday, May 25th from 1:30 to 3:30 pm at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Winnipeg located at 603 Wellington Crescent.
The family would like to extend a sincere thank you to the staff at the SICU and request that in lieu of flowers, donations be directed to the Children's Hospital Foundation of Manitoba, Inc (CE501 - 840 Sherbrook St. R3A 1S1).
Michael [never Mike] was born in Winnipeg in 1946. He attended River Heights Junior High, and Grant Park High School, where he starred as the Mikado in the annual operetta. He had a deep bass voice and spent some time with the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir. He loved classical music and had it on as much as possible. He was also a Gilbert and Sullivan fan.
Michael and I actually met when he was 13 years old but we didn't have our first date until he was 18. He taught me how to drive and took me to my high school graduation. We dated other people through my university years. Michael worked for the Transcona News and then went to Montreal for EXPO and stayed, where he became a disc jockey for a classical radio station.
We kept contact and renewed our relationship, moving to Calgary together in 1969. There, Michael worked as editor for the Albertan and went to U of C for a BA in psychology. That education was followed in quick succession by an LLB from Queens and an LLM from the London School of Economics.
Upon returning from England, Michael spent one year on the Law Faculty at the U of M, in Winnipeg (during which time Ethan was born), and then took an interesting offer at the University of Alberta to teach Law in the Business Faculty. Michael and I spent 14 years in Edmonton, having Erin shortly after we arrived. Besides being a full time faculty member Michael had an individual practice in Criminal and Family law, and purchased his first bookstore, The Edmonton Bookstore. It had at least three locations and is currently owned and managed by Barbara Ellis.
In 1991, we quit our jobs, rented out our house, took the kids out of school and went sailing. We parked the boat after a few months and lived in Oxnard/Ventura, California for a year. This was when we really started doing the American book fairs. Greenfield, Missouri, (pop. 1,416) was picked for our next destination because of its centrality and low cost of living. The kids went to Greenfield High School and had very diverse experiences. Greenfield Books became a reality.
We returned to Winnipeg in 1994, when I took a job with Manitoba Health. Greenfield Books came with us and has operated on Grosvenor near Stafford, Academy at Queenston and now at 217 Academy in a wonderful arrangement where we live above the shop.
Michael was a firm but fair father who loved his children dearly. They have each made great matches and have blessed us with 2 beautiful grandchildren each.
Our life in the years since our children left to start their own families revolved around them and the book fair circuit. There was lots of travel in the US and Canada and latterly, Europe for the ILAB (International League of Antiquarian Booksellers) meetings. We maintained the Greenfield residence and based the US fairs out of it. Canadian fairs in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver took up the fall months; Austin, TX, NYC, Washington DC, Little Rock, AK, Florida and sometimes the California fairs filled the winters. Summers were on Lake Winnipeg either on our sailboat or at our cottage in Winnipeg Beach.
Life was good and lived fully. No regrets. We were fortunate to be able to follow our dreams together.
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