Willie Lawrence Parrish, 83, of Clinton, passed away on Monday, November 18, 2019 at Kitty Askins Hospice Center. Willie was born in Johnston County, NC on August 5, 1936.
Willie served his country in the United States Army Airborne as a paratrooper. He was granted several awards including the Commendation Ribbon with Metal Pendant, Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.
Willie met the love of his life, Annette, and they married January 10, 1960. He affectionately referred to her as “Annie” and reminisced how he knew from their first date that she would be his wife. During their almost 60 years of marriage, Willie and Annette, raised two children, joyfully welcomed grandchildren, enjoyed camping and traveling and grew a successful business.
Willie was a self-learned man with many talents including classic car restoration, beekeeping, carpentry and gardening. He enjoyed collecting antiques of all kinds, NASCAR, cooking barbecue and spending time with his family and friends. Willie believed “spending time with family and friends is the best thing in life”.
Willie was active in beekeeping for more than 40 years. He was co-founder of the Sampson County Beekeepers Association and truly delighted in mentoring new beekeepers and sharing his extensive knowledge of bees. He was an active member of the North Carolina Farm Bureau Pollination Board. Willie was also a Mason.
Willie is survived by his wife of 59 years, Annette; son, Lawrence Parrish and wife, Carolyn of Clinton; daughter, Leigh Goble and husband, Brian of Fuquay-Varina; grandson, Matthew Parrish and wife, Kelly of Clinton; granddaughter, Caitlin McMullen and husband, David, of Greensboro; grandson, Austin Goble of Fuquay-Varina; granddaughter Anna Stewart Goble of Fuquay-Varina; and great-granddaughter, Lilly Mae Parrish. He is also survived by his sister, Dorothy Council of Fayetteville; sister, Shirley Royal of Clinton; and brother, Joe Adams of Fuquay-Varina.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, November 23, 2019 at 1:00pm at Owen Grove Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church at 1085 Kitty Fork Road, Clinton, NC. Interment will follow at Springdale Cemetery in Clinton. The visitation will be 6:00-8:00pm on Friday, November 22, 2019 at Crumpler-Honeycutt Funeral Home in Clinton. Flowers are graciously welcomed and memorials can be made in Willie’s name to the North Carolina State University Apiculture Program at ncsuapiculture.net.
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