OBITUARY: James Harold Parrish


James Harold Parrish, 93, passed away on Thursday, June 13, 2024 at Maury Regional Medical Center.

He will be remembered as a wonderful father, grandfather, great-grandfather, family member, and friend.

He was born in Columbia, TN on April 6, 1931 to the late Walter Freeland Parrish and the late Annie Mai Hamlin Parrish of Rock Springs Rd.

He grew up in Columbia where he met his wife of 66 years Mary Ruth Davis who preceded him in death on April 6, 2017.

He was in the US Army Signal Corps during the Korean War and was stationed in Japan. He then spent over 30 years in the Air National Guard and retired as a Senior Master Sergeant. He was a member of the American Legion Post 19. He went to work for Southern Bell as a lineman, working in Columbia, Tullahoma, and Nashville, returning to Columbia in 1980 in a management position.

He retired from AT&T in 1991 after 36 years. Harold served as President of the Telephone Pioneers and together with Mary Ruth they enjoyed square dancing with the Dixie Diamonds. He was well traveled in both jobs, going to South America, Alaska, New York, Texas, Nevada, and Washington DC to name a few and there were many more. He attended UT at Nashville simultaneously with his 19 year old daughter.

Called Harold by his family, his honesty, hard work, and easy smile were good examples for his children Teresa Ellen Flach, retired State nurse in Nashville, TN and James Walter Parrish (Becky) who became his live in caregiver for the past 5 years along with his son James Paul Parrish who also assisted when away from school.

His other grandchildren are Gretchen Nicole (Aaron) Hampton of Columbia, and Sarah Blue of Murfreesboro. Five great grandchildren are John Jurel (Calvin) Blue IV, Jesse Wade Hampton, Marianne Ruth Hampton, Luke Arnton Hampton, and Kathryn Grace Hampton.

In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by a brother Charles W. Parrish.

Funeral services will be conducted Tuesday, June 18, 2024 at 11:00 AM at Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home with John Waldrum officiating. Visitation will be Monday, June 17th from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home. Burial will be at Jones Cemetery in Columbia on Bear Creek Pike with military honors provided by Herbert Griffin American Legion Post 19.

Online condolences may be extended at


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