Abby Parks remembered her husband as her “best friend” and an “incredible father” to their young son in a post on social media Saturday.
Clayton Parks was ripped away from his family when he was killed along with four co-workers in a mass shooting Friday afternoon at the Henry Pratt Company plant in Aurora.
“Every time I’ve closed my eyes over the last twelve hours, I’ve opened them hoping to wake from a terrible dream, but that’s not the case. I’m living my worst nightmare,” Abby Parks wrote on Facebook Saturday.
Family members bearing bouquets of flowers gathered at the Parks’ Elgin home Saturday afternoon to provide support for the family.
“My husband, my love, my best friend, and the incredible father of our sweet son was taken from us yesterday in the shooting in Aurora, and I am devastated.” Abby Parks wrote.
She declined to speak with a reporter Saturday.
Clayton Parks was hired in November as HR manager for plants in Aurora, Hammond, Indiana, and Denver, Colorado, the company said. Parks was in the room when Gary Martin was told he was being fired and began shooting.
Clayton Parks was a 2014 alumnus of Northern Illinois University, which the day before had marked the anniversary of a mass shooting that happened on its own campus 11 years ago.
In a statement, NIU President Lisa Freeman asked the university community to keep Parks’ family in their hearts.
Abby Parks wrote she and their son, Axel, had been surrounded by family and friends since the tragic news broke.
“Beneath all the fog and the shock, and the crushing pain, I believe the same God that brought us together and gave us our precious son will somehow carry us through,” she said in the post.
“I’ll love you always and miss you forever, Clay.”