David A. Parrish, a lifelong resident of Oxford, passed away peacefully on Nov. 7, 2018 at his home in Independence Village of Waterstone in Oxford Township. He was 92.
David is preceded in death by his parents, John and Katie Parrish, his brothers Leo and Nelson Parrish, his sister Edith Clark and his loving wife of 67 years, Joyce Parrish, who passed away on Nov. 10, 2015. He is survived by his son Elmer Parrish (Ann) and daughter Nancy Szabo (Dennis). Grandchildren Natalie Parrish, Amanda Reed (Heath), Michael Szabo (Janisha) and great granddaughter Aurora Reed survive him as well.
David was born and raised in Oxford on a farm located at 610 Baldwin Road. He graduated from Oxford High School in 1944 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy the same year at age 18. He proudly served his country during 1944-46 (World War II) as a Petty Officer (Second Class of U.S. Navy). On Aug. 28, 1948 he married the love of his life Joyce Morell (he said when they first met he was immediately taken with Joyce’s petite figure and farm girl beauty). They moved to an apartment on Burdick Street in downtown Oxford and David worked at American Aggregates in Oxford for 10 years. In 1958, David purchased an insurance agency in downtown Oxford and he opened his own business (Parrish Insurance Agency). He went to insurance school at Michigan State College in Lansing. In January 1966 there was a fire in downtown Oxford and the insurance agency, located at 24 South Washington St., along with several other buildings were destroyed. David rebuilt his agency from the ground up and reopened in the same location in November 1966. During his later years his business name changed to “Parrish Insurance and Real Estate” after he became a real estate broker. David and his secretary (wife Joyce) retired in 1986 after serving the insurance-needs of the Lake Orion-Oxford community for almost 30 years.
David was a leader in the Oxford community throughout his lifetime: he was an Oxford Councilman for one term, a member of the Oxford Lion’s Club for over 20 years, and he was active in the church community as well. He regularly attended church services with his wife and during the years he served as a Deacon at the First Baptist Church of Lake Orion, Oxford Free Methodist Church and First Baptist Church of Oxford. He always said: “a family that prays together stays together.”
David’s favorite hobby was to travel and spend time with his number one companion, Joyce. He also enjoyed spending time with his two children and helping out with their many household projects, and he was a very involved grandparent. After David retired, he spent more than 20 years tooling around the country with his wife, Joyce, in a motor home visiting the lower 48 states. They also traveled to Hawaii and went on an Alaskan cruise in 2012. Internationally, they visited 17 countries in all including much of Europe, Africa, Costa Rica, Canada and Mexico. During later years they became snowbirds during the winter months – they would spend six months in Michigan and six months in Arizona in their park model in Apache Junction; they truly enjoyed waking up to the beauty of the Superstition Mountains out their back window, and they also enjoyed hiking together in the mountains as well.
David also liked tinkering with antique cars; he owned a 1914, 1920, and 1926 Model T Ford, and a 1928 Model A. Quite often he drove his cars in the Oxford parades with his wife, Joyce, beside him.
David was a great conversationalist and storyteller; he spoke to everyone he encountered and always smiled. Even though he entirely lost his hearing in 2013, he still had a positive outlook in life.
A funeral service was held Nov. 13. Interment at Oxford Township cemetery. Arrangements entrusted to Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors, Oxford.