October 12, 2021, 76, La Grange –
Donald Parrish, 76, completed his earthly work on Tuesday, October 12, 2021, and now rests from his labors at the feet of his Heavenly Father. Donald was born in Wayne County to the late Emmett and Sally Daniels Parrish on February 22, 1945. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sisters, Judy Ward and Carrol Suddreth.
Honorably serving his country, Donald enlisted in the National Guard and faithfully served for six years.
For 46 and a half years, Donald made the short trek from his home to the corner of Washington and Main, where he worked tirelessly as owner and operator of Parrish Exxon. His attention to detail and care for his customers instilled a sense of trust in all who frequented his business. Many friendships were established and nurtured within those walls, as customers who became friends would stop in for service, a cold drink, or just to chat. Always looking after those less fortunate, Donald agreed to fix many cars, only expecting payment when the person was able to pay.
With a mischievous grin and a dry sense of humor, you could always expect a laugh or two while conversing with Donald. His way with words and storytelling compelled his audience to listen attentively. He had the ability to find joy even in the most somber of occasions, and his concern for each person he encountered was evident. He loved to cut up, and he didn’t care how foolish he looked, as long as he could make you laugh.
Commitment to his church was essential to Donald’s being. His love for the Lord was exhibited in his deep devotion and faithfulness to his church. Not one to lead from the front, he took on jobs behind the scenes to enhance worship and fellowship. Every time the church was open for worship or rehearsals, you could find Donald sitting in the sound booth providing the necessary support. When there was work to do in the yard, you’d always see Donald and Christine weeding, placing pine straw, and cleaning. He served as a deacon in the church, and never said no to an opportunity to serve his Lord when called upon. No matter the need, Donald stepped up to the plate to faithfully serve.
In Donald’s free time, you could often find him at Falling Creek Service Center in the early morning enjoying a biscuit and fellowship with his breakfast buddies. The stories that were told and the laughs that were shared brought much happiness to all in the group. With a love of Nascar, he often attended races in his earlier years and always tried to catch a race on television. His collection of Dale Earnhardt memorabilia is extensive, and his love for the #3 was displayed well in his service station. Donald bled Tarheel Blue as he pulled for his beloved team season after season.
Of utmost importance to Donald was the concern and protection of his family. A great provider, Donald ensured that his family had everything they needed and much of what they wanted. His care went beyond his immediate family, as he took it upon himself to look after the needs of neighbors, friends, and church family. He took seriously the great commandment, to “…love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind…” and “…to love your neighbor as yourself”.
Donald and Christine were most often seen side by side, as the two were happily married for over 55 years. At the age of 17, Christine was in love from the first time she laid eyes upon Donald, and their commitment to one another never went away. His children and grandchildren were paramount in his life, and he took every opportunity to support them and take interest in their daily lives. The titles of Daddy and Grandaddy were the best names ever given to him. His love for his children ran deep, and the love of his grandchildren was no less evident. Donald was a proud dad to Tony, and Donna was definitely daddy’s girl. Madison and Sally Ann brought a new-found love to him upon their arrival, and their love for him was just as big. As “Diddio” to Sally Ann, she expressed the bond the two of them had perfectly as a young child: “I love you sooo much. You are sooo sweet.”
A service of love and remembrance will be held on Sunday, October 17, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. at La Grange First Free Will Baptist Church with Pastors Ronnie Hobgood and Gabe Mitchell officiating. Interment will follow at Fairview Cemetery.
Donald is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Christine Taylor Parrish; children, Tony Parrish and Donna Parrish Mitchell and husband, Gabe; grandchildren, Madison Parrish and Sally Ann Mitchell; brother, Eugene Parrish and wife, Dora; sister, Sylvia Galloway and husband, Ronnie; brothers-in-law, Joe Ward, Horace Wade, and Wade Suddreth; his granddog, Lilly; as well as many beloved nieces and nephews.
The family will greet friends for a time of visitation on Saturday, October 16, 2021 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at La Grange First Free Will Baptist Church in the Family Life Center.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.rousefh.com. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to La Grange First Free Will Baptist Church, 802 South Caswell Street, La Grange, NC 28551. Arrangements entrusted to Rouse Funeral Home, La Grange.