Family tree
By Luke Johnson

Danny Parks drives his truck through Grayson County early in the morning on his way to deliver logs to a customer. Danny is the owner of Parks Logging LLC, which has been passed down through his family for generations.

The thundering roar of an engine breaks the silence of a frosty Caneyville morning. Before sunrise, Danny Parks is starting to haul logs to customers around Grayson County.

Danny runs a logging business where he cuts, limbs and hauls logs. After taking over the business from his father, he intended to pass it on to his son Koty some day.
But Koty was killed in a car crash in August.

His passing left a void in the family that relied so much on him. Whitney Parks, his widow, has been taking care of their three young daughters and getting closer to Danny in the process.

“Our relationship has grown,” Whitney says. “We are there for each other; we are still family.”
Danny lost both a son and a business partner. Their relationship seamlessly combined work life and family life, and those close to Danny have seen him struggle to cope. Howards Riggs, Koty’s best friend and Danny’s replacement knuckle boom operator, has been there through it all.

“It’s almost hard for him to think; I see him staring off every so often,” Howard says. “They always talked, and he’d always go to Koty for his opinion.”

Filling Koty’s job in the logging company hasn’t been easy, but the team has come together to support each other and are finding ways to keep working. The hole created by Koty’s death has brought out the best in Danny’s leadership.

“Working for Dan is great; I couldn’t work for anyone else," Howard says. "He is understanding and doesn’t boss you around. He shows you respect.”

Danny has been through so much, yet he continues to look out for those around him. The family has a lot of support from their church and community, but it will never fill the hole left by Koty’s death.

Danny had hoped to pass the business on to his son, Koty Parks, but he died in a car crash in August 2022. Photos of Koty on the living room floor of his widow, Whitney, show the family’s close bond.

At his dinner table, Danny Parks looks through his phone at photos of Koty. Danny’s wife, Lori, holds the family dog.

Danny holds his granddaughter Tilly, while he takes a brief break from installing a central heating unit at his daughter-in-law’s house.

Danny drives through Grayson County on his way to deliver a load of logs to an Amish community.

Danny walks alone through the forest in search of a tree to cut down..

Danny enjoys a lunch with friends at Kirby’s Korner Market in Leitchfield.

Danny Parks takes a call in front of his house in the morning before delivering a shipment of logs and starting his day. Taking advantage of limited cellular reception is a must since Danny works almost entirely out of cell range for most of the day.

Danny Parks is reflected in the back window of his daughter-in-law’s truck as he takes a call about a new logging opportunity. His son, Koty, was killed in a car crash in August 2022.

Danny Parks climbs into his truck and prepares to head to work alone as the sun rises over Caneyville. He owns Parks Logging LLC.