William Earl Parrish, 82, died at his home after a lengthy struggle with illness. He was born to Otis Bryant Parrish and Ruby Barham Parrish on May 26, 1933. He had nine brothers and sisters: Ruby Excell and husband Wilton (deceased), Percy and wife Peggy, Rachel (deceased) and husband Jim Wrenn, George and wife Judy, Jesse and wife Betty, Gene, Shirley (deceased) and husband Helig (deceased), Joyce and husband Clifton and Bill. He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Magaline Horton Parrish. He has two children, Nathan and daughter-in-law Lisa Parrish and Renee and son-in-law Gregg Baker. William has two grandchildren, Ruby and William. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins who were a very important part of his life.
William was an Army veteran. He served in Germany during the Korean War. He was a graduate of Hardbarger Business College of Raleigh. He graduated at the top of his class. Prior to his military service, William worked for a paving company in Richmond, Virginia and then as a driver for Raleigh Bonded Warehouse. Following graduation from Hardbarger’s William secured a position with the NC Department of Revenue, working there for twelve years before launching his Real Estate Company in January 1969. Parrish Realty began in a small trailer on Pony Road in Zebulon and expanded to several offices over the course of its ongoing life. Today, Parrish Realty continues to serve the public with the philosophy that William summed up in his own words: “Hard work, service to others, and fairness to all.” He was honored for his business leadership with the Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award by the Zebulon Chamber of Commerce on two separate occasions. He received multiple service awards throughout his career. He also owned and operated a construction company. William took great pride in the homes and neighborhoods he built. He took great joy in building homes and helping families especially those who were first time homeowners.
William was an active member of the Zebulon community, a generous citizen, and a faithful member of Zebulon Baptist Church. His life and legacy extend far beyond his work career and is best expressed through the many lives that he influenced, through the many ways he sought to offer a helping hand up to those in need of assistance, and in the wonderful stories shared by those who knew him as a faithful friend, neighbor, colleague, and family member.
The family extends its thanks to the community for its support and encouragement in this final season of William’s life. Special appreciation is offered to those who were his compassionate and patient caregivers during his last several weeks, months and years.
A funeral service and celebration of his life will be held on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 at 11 am at Zebulon Baptist Church (400 N. Arendell Ave., Zebulon, NC.) The Visitation will be held on Monday August 31, 2015 at Zebulon Baptist Church from 6 – 8 pm.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be directed to Zebulon Baptist Church, PO Box 366, Zebulon, NC 27597; The Boys and Girls Club of Zebulon, 1320 Shepard School Rd., Zebulon, NC 27597; or Community Home Care and Hospice, 962 NC 42 Clayton, NC 27520.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Massey Funeral Home, Zebulon, 919-269-6600, www.masseyfuneralhome.com