Beloved Sterling Heights ice cream man dies

Beloved Sterling Heights ice cream man dies

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STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (WJBK) -

"Weird Beard" Alan Parkinson was the beloved ice cream man in Sterling Heights for nearly 30 years and was known to generations of ice cream lovers. He worked the same route for decades and knew customers by name and what they preferred to order.

"It's been about three generations between my parents, myself my daughter," customer Bailey Hark ins says. Her daughter, Melanie, says she always got the strawberry shortcake and that it's her favorite.

But his long-time customers say that Parkinson has died, believed to have lost a battle to cancer.

"It was really devastating, because you don't think you're going to get attached to your ice cream man," Hark ins says. "He's been around for so long in our community, and on my street, that it was really sad."

"We always counted on Al because he came right at dinner time and it was a good bribery to get your kids to eat dinner. Some things never change," remembers Melanie Boyd."We didn't even know he as sick, and he went from being sick to he's gone. It makes you think twice. You wish you would've taken more time to have conversation," Boys adds.

Parkinson worked for Meadowbrook Ice Cream Co., Inc. based in Rochester. A memorial will be held for Parkinson on Saturday, October 26 at the Macomb Sportsman Club.

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