Benson, NC: Mr. John William "Billy" Parrish, Jr., 94, of 503 West Harnett Street died on March 31, 2018 surrounded by his loving family. Funeral Services will be held 11:00AM Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at Rose and Graham Funeral Home Chapel in Benson. Officiating will be Rev. Scott Betts, Mr. Mike Warren and Mr. Ken McGee. Burial will follow at Benson City Cemetery with military honors.
Billy was born in Benson on Church Street, January 6, 1924 to the late John William Parrish, Sr. and Lillian Louise Hurst Parrish. He was preceded in death by his loving daughter, Cynthia (Cindy) Louise Parrish Johnson; Aunt Sara Parrish; Uncle Bud Parrish; brother-in-law, Michael W. Porter; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Esther and Dalton Porter; and sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Jackie Porter and Sherrill Moore. Billy was the owner and operator of Parrish Oil Company in Benson which has been in business since 1932 and served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1943-1946.
Billy was a dedicated family man, business owner, public servant and community leader. He married Barbara (Bobbie) Carolyn Porter Parrish in 1951. They attended both Benson Baptist Church and Benson Presbyterian Church. Billy loved his family; his wife, daughters, grandchildren; sister; nieces, nephews and his in-laws. He was a great husband, wonderful father, avid golfer, great dancer and loved music.
Billy and Bobbie worked hard at the oil company everyday up until he was 90 years old. He has been a member of the Benson American Legion since 1948, Lions Club since 1983; however, due to declining heath had not been able to attend meetings in the last several years. Billy served on the Chamber of Commerce for many years, serving as president in 2001 and as a Benson Town Commissioner for nearly 35 years which is the longest in Benson's history. He served as Mayor Pro-Temp and helped in bringing I-95 and I-40 to the area. Billy assisted in the development of Benson Housing Authority and served on the board from 1958-1970. He was awarded 1989 Citizen of the Year and 2003 Small Business of the Year. Billy was a good listener, had time for everyone and loved helping the people in his hometown.
Surviving are wife of 66 years, Bobbie Porter Parrish; daughters, Carolyn Parrish Hayes and husband, Dennis of Benson, Emma Parrish Meekins and husband, Kenny of Manteo and Lillian Parrish Curtis of Benson; grandchildren, Lauren Parrish Johnson and Anna Johnson of Four Oaks, Hunter Meekins and wife, Meredith of Manteo, Hannah Meekins of Wilson, Amber Starr Hayes of Benson, Kalyn, John and Claire Curtis of Benson; great granddaughter, Parrish Ward Meekins of Manteo; sister, Retired Lt. Colonel Lillian H. Parrish of Benson; sister-in-law, Becky Porter of Virginia Beach, VA; brother-in-law, Andy Porter and wife, Carol of Mount Holly; niece and nephew, Jean M. Barefoot and Ricky Moore and families all of Benson; several cousins and lots of special friends.
The family will receive friends Tuesday 6:00PM - 8:00PM at Rose and Graham Funeral Home in Benson and other times at the home.
Flowers are welcomed; however, memorials may be made to Benson Fire Department, 313 S. Elm St., Benson, NC 27504, Benson Baptist Church, P.O. Box 323, Benson, NC 27504 and Crossroads Church, 121 S. Railroad St, Benson, NC 27504.
The family thanks Total Life Care, Dr. Eugene Maynard, Johnston County Home Care and Hospice, Benson Fire, Rescue and Police for their dedicated service and kindness to the Parrish Family.