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AQHA Director Emeritus & Past AzQHA President Dorn Parkinson Passes


Posted on AzQHA Facebook Page

Dorn Parkinson
August 5, 1946 – July 8, 2021

Dorn Parkinson was born on August 5, 1946, in Phoenix, AZ, to Roland and Margaret (Shirley) Parkinson. He was the oldest of six children. He graduated from Flagstaff High School in 1964 and, shortly after that, joined the Army. He was sent to Officers Candidate School, where he was promoted to Captain by 20. He spent his armed service career in Korea. After that, he returned to Arizona and enrolled in Arizona State University, where he studied business and graduated in three years with honors. He was a lifetime member of the Delta Sigma Pi fraternity. In 1972 he met Debra (Debbie) Grauman while visiting family in Norris, Montana. They later married on June 25, 1974, and moved to Missoula, MT.

In the summer of 1975, Dorn was hired by Washington Construction as an accountant. Over the next 22 years, he rose to become President and Chief Executive Officer of Washington Corporations. He worked with Dennis Washington throughout this time, helping him build a diversified portfolio of over 40 companies into what became a multi-billion dollar enterprise, serving in a leadership capacity and on all of the Boards of Directors, retiring in December 1997. Dorn was also active as an advisor to the University of Montana Rodeo Club, served on the U of M Business School Advisory Council, and was a Director for The First Interstate Bank of Missoula. He was an extraordinary Business Executive and leader.

After his retirement, he purchased a Ranch in Kirkland, AZ. He moved his family there to follow their passion for raising, breeding, and showing World Quality Quarter Horses and earning multiple World Championships. At the 2020 Pinnacle and Arizona Fall Championship Circuit, Dorn achieved a personal goal that he had set for himself. Having a mind for numbers and statistics, he decided to earn 6000 halter points as an exhibitor. That in itself is a hefty goal. However, he accomplished his goal with most of those points earned by horses bred, raised, and fit by Dorn and Debbie.

Dorn served as a national director of the American Quarter Horse Association for several years. After reaching tenure, he was elevated to Director Emeritus. He also served as President of the Arizona Quarter Horse Association in 2007, as Treasurer for the past several years, and a member of the Executive Committee of AzQHA at the time of his death. In 2019, the Arizona Quarter Horse Association recognized Dorn for his outstanding voluntary service to the association with the Dorn Parkinson Service Award. The perpetual award will be given each year to an individual who gives selflessly to the Association.

He was preceded in death by his parents and four sisters. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Debbie, son Shadd (McKenzie), two granddaughters Gracie 11, and Hadley, 5, a brother Nord (Stephanie), and numerous nieces and nephews.

Dorn touched the lives of many across the nation. He was a generous, kind, and loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend. His smile and sense of humor will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

A celebration of Dorn’s life will be held at a future date.

GoHorseShow extends its condolences to the entire Parkinson family.

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