Jimmy (Jim) Delbert Parrish
, 84, of Chandler, Arizona went home to be with his Lord and Savior on September 9, 2019 after some months of declining health, with his loving wife Nancy, by his side.
Jim is survived by his wife of 64 years, Nancy, son Michael (Donna) of Chandler, daughters Karen Parrish of Chandler, Shelley Morris (Tim) of Gilbert and Donna Rivituso (Eric) of Gilbert. Additionally, he had 7 grandchildren: Jon Parrish (Megan), Ashley Parrish Garcia (Manuel), Kylie VanLiere, Logan VanLiere, Jacob Morris, Jared Morris and Tommie Rivituso, and great-grandaughter, Bailey. He is also survived by his brother Dwayne Parrish of Casa Grande. He was a loving husband, father and PaPaw to all the grandchildren.
Jim was preceded in death by Earl Parrish (father), Shirley Golden Parrish Linthacum (mother), Vera Parrish Pearson (sister) and Linda Parrish (sister).
Born in Mesa, Arizona on August 27, 1935 to Shirley and Earl Parrish, Jim grew up in Chandler and attended Chandler schools, graduating from Chandler High in 1953. In fact, many of his classmates went all the way from 1
grade together – friends for life! Jim was an outstanding student leader and athlete throughout his high school years. He was president of his Sophomore, Junior AND Senior classes, and was known for his athletic achievements. Those achievements were recognized when he was awarded the Outstanding Senior Athlete trophy for his four years of all- around sports participation and stellar performance.
It was at Chandler High where he met the love of his life – Nancy. They begin dating, and the rest, as they say, is history. Jim and Nancy were married on June 10, 1955 at First Baptist Church Chandler.
The next couple of years took Jim to Eastern Arizona College and then to Arizona State College (now ASU), from which he graduated in 1957 with a BA in Education. Soon after, he was offered the opportunity to operate a brand-new Chevron Station that was being built on Arizona Avenue (AZ 87), which at that time, was the main thoroughfare between Phoenix and Tucson. Jim’s Chevron Station opened for business on July 20, 1957. Jim worked hard and grew his business and was well-respected in town. Then, Interstate 10 opened, and business dropped off as no one took AZ87 to Phoenix anymore. So, in 1969, Jim decided to sell the Chevron station and he went to work for New York Life Insurance Company.
Jim’s career with New York Life began in Phoenix, but he was soon promoted to general manager of the Ventura, CA office. That took the family to Camarillo, CA for 3 ½ years and then to Tucson for another 8 years.
Jim and Nancy decided they wanted to move “back home” to Chandler. They left Tucson and moved back to their hometown where Jim opened Parrish Insurance Agency, an Independent Agency in 1985. Later, Jim’s son Mike joined the firm – truly a local family owned business.
Jim’s true passion was serving the Lord in his local church. He grew up in Chandler First Baptist Church and became a member at the age of 12. He later went on to become the Education Director and under his leadership, the church grew substantially. He was very involved in not only First Baptist, but also the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention, serving the members in Arizona. He enjoyed mentoring young people, many who later served in the ministry, including the minister who will be conducting his funeral service, Billy Van Camp.
Regardless of Jim’s many accomplishments, his greatest joy was his family – particularly his grandchildren. He loved watching them grow and follow their passions. He and Nancy were at every sporting event, every concert, talent show or recital, every graduation and just about anything else the grandkids did. Teaching the kids to fish or play golf was a joy. He loved the Rook games played around the kitchen table at the cabin in Pinetop which were always competitive, but also filled with lots of laughter. And of course, he treasured praying with them as they went to sleep each night they were at their house.
The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at Sage Hospice for their loving care of Jim. Also, we would like to thank all the caregivers at The Enclave at Gilbert retirement community for their care and concern in the last days of Jim’s life. We are grateful.
A celebration of Jim’s life will take place on Monday, September 16
at 10 am at Heart Cry Church, 9339 Hunt Highway, Queen Creek, AZ 85412 followed by a private burial. The family will receive friends prior to the service at the church.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Sage Hospice, 5111 N. Scottsdale Road #204, Scottsdale, AZ 85250 OR to a charity of your choice in Jim’s honor.