And to think it all started with waffles.
James Parish met his wife Donna at a Waffle Bake back in December of 1968. Those must have been great waffles, because the two would spend the next 52 years together – building a family and loving each other the entire time.
James, who when he returned from Vietnam after serving with the United States Army, told his bride that for the rest of his life, he “just wanted some peace and quiet” – but he quickly realized that with a wife, two daughters and two grand-daughters, it wasn’t going to happen.
James finally earned his peace on October 8, 2021, when he passed away in a local hospital.
Friends and family will remember his love for hunting and fishing (mostly fishing later in his life). One of his best friends was his rescue dog Cooper, who may or may not have found a way to visit James in the hospital. Those close to him will relate how James was a prankster; he loved to keep people on their toes, and he loved telling jokes and stories – especially about his experiences with Bigfoot and UFOs.
More importantly, James’ faith in God and his love for the words of the bible were some of the biggest parts of his daily existence.
No matter how he felt, James went out of his way to take care of others and their needs. For years, he was a contributor to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital as a result of his membership with the Mason Lodge.
James was a Vietnam veteran who served in the United States Army for two years, and he maintained his twisted vet’s sense of humor for the rest of his life. In fact, part of his serial number was “007”, and he was James. James Parish.
He graduated Lufkin High School before attending Angelina College in 1968 – the college’s first year of existence – earning his associate’s degree there. James then graduated Stephen F. Austin State University with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. He worked at Huntington State Bank, and spent time with Memorial Hospital in Lufkin as the head of administration. Later, he served with the Lufkin State School, where he would spend the next 36 years before his retirement. For more than 30 years, James owned and operated his own pest control business, Parish Pest Control.
James is survived by a small but big-loving family, including his wife of 52 years, Donna “Donn-Donn” – the woman for whom his love and adoration never waned over time; daughters, Jamie Parish and Calley McNeese; granddaughters, Kinlee and Adalyn; son-in-law, Seth McNeese; and dozens of cousins and countless friends.
He is preceded in death by his mother, Evelyn Forrest; his father, Grady Forrest; his brother, Billy Don Parish; and his biological father, William Fletcher Parish.
Services will take place at 2:00 p.m. at Denman Avenue Baptist Church on Sunday, October 24, 2021. Entombment will follow in the Garden of Memories Memorial Park Garden Crypts Mausoleum in Lufkin. A celebration of life with the family will take place afterward at Crown Colony Country Club.
Pallbearers will be Seth McNeese, Dr. Bradley Clary, John Sherrard, Josh Griffin, Rob Weber, and Russ Reeder.
Honorary pallbearers will be Micheal James and Brenden Havard.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks donors to consider contributing to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in James’ honor.
Carroway Funeral Home, Lufkin, directors.