Milton ParrishApr 5th, 2011 | By Submitted | Category: Obituaries
Mr. Milton Parrish, age 91, of Madison County, passed away peacefully at his home on April 3, 2011, of natural causes.
He was born on June 24, 1919, in St. Augustine to Jennie Rebecca (Conner) Parrish and George Daniel Parrish. He was the youngest of three brothers. When Mr. Parrish was two years old, his family moved to Miami, where he grew up. He attended Buena Vista Elementary School, Robert E. Lee Junior High, and in 1937, graduated from Miami Senior High. Shortly thereafter, he joined the carpenters and joiners union and began an apprenticeship as a carpenter, where he soon earned his journeyman card. On Feb. 16, 1940, he married Mary Winifred Batton and that same year, he began working as a switchman on the FEC railroad. He continued to work with railroads until he enlisted in the Army and became an aviation cadet. On July 2, 1941, his first child, Michael Milton Parrish, was born in Miami. Following his training as an air cadet, Mr. Parrish served as a flight instructor at various bases in the USA. In the fall of 1944, Mr. Parrish was sent to England where he was assigned to be a B-24 pilot for the duration of the war in Europe. Most of his combat service was with the 506th Squadron of the 44th Bomb Group, which was based in Shipdham, England.
During 1944-45, Mr. Parrish flew many long range bombing missions deep into Germany. He flew several of his missions in a B-24 named “Joplin Jalopy” in appreciation for the citizens of Joplin, Mo., who purchased enough war bonds to pay for a B-24. At the end of the war in Europe, Mr. Parrish flew the Joplin Jalopy back to the United States.
In early 1946, after completing his military service, Mr. Parrish moved to Bogota, Colombia, where he fist worked as a pilot for a passenger airline. In November of that year, he moved to Shellmera, Ecuador, where he spent a year as a pilot for the Shell Oil Company. In November of 1947, he returned to Colombia and in December of 1948, his daughter, Mary Lucretia Parrish (Pfeil) was born. He stayed in South America working as an airplane pilot for the Colombian Petroleum Company and other companies in Colombia until early 1958, when he moved to Madison and began farming. His home from 1958 until he passed away was a farmhouse he built himself on the west side of Lake Rachel. A few years later, he bought a second farm near Lee, where he eventually based his crop dusting business.
Mr. Parrish had a lifetime interest in and enthusiasm for flying and after about 15 years of not doing any flying at all, he decided to add crop dusting to his farming activities. He started his crop dusting business with a small PA-18 airplane. Shortly thereafter, he obtained FAA approval to use a twin-engine Navion for crop dusting, and eventually, he did all of his crop dusting with a conventional crop dusting airplane.
For many years, Mr. Parrish was engaged in both crop dusting and in raising crops, cattle, hogs and sheep on his two farms. He continued both activities as long as possible, but with advancing age, he found it prudent to retire from active business activities, so he sold his airplanes and farms and enjoyed a long and comfortable retirement in the house he built beside Lake Rachel.
He is survived by his oldest brother, G. David Parrish of Miami; by his children, Mary Lucretia Pfeil, of Madison and Michael M. Parrish, of Tallahassee; by his three grandchildren, Michael Marshall Parrish of Kyoto, Japan, Jenny Rebecca Black of Lakeland and William Jackson “Jake” Pfeil of Tallahassee. He is also survived by four great-grandchildren, Varn Michael Black of Lakeland, Julie Christine Black of Lakeland, Ewan Michael Furumoto Parrish of Kyoto, Japan, and, most recently, Cole Jackson Pfeil of Tallahassee; as well as being survived by a number of nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his first wife, Mary Winifred (Batton) Parrish, who was the mother of his children and by his middle brother, Randolph “Randy” Parrish.
Visitation will be held Wednesday, April 6, 2011, from 6-8 p.m. at Beggs Funeral Home, Madison Chapel. Graveside services will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. at Oakridge Cemetery in Madison.
Beggs Funeral Home, Madison Chapel (850) 973-2258, was in charge of arrangements.