Robert E. Parrish
Robert E. Parrish, age 91, of Sharon, passed away on March 20th after a brief hospitalization. He remained engaged with the larger community and the many people that gave his life meaning. His family is so profoundly grateful for his long and full life.
He leaves his family who adored him. Dearly beloved husband of the late Ardeth (Wellman) Parrish with whom he shared 61 years of marriage; loving father of Pamela Wood and her husband Jack of Norton; Brenda Carroll and her husband Jim of Norton; Dana Parrish of Sharon; and Robert Parrish Jr. and his husband Michael Carey of San Francisco. Also cherished by his six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Bob also leaves behind his brother, Stanley Parrish and sister-in-law Mary Lou, sister-in-law Norma Parrish, wife of his late brother Paul Parrish, and many nieces and nephews.
Born in Lexington on December 17, 1928, he resided in Sharon since 1932 and graduated from Sharon High School in 1946. Other than his family and church he had one lifetime passion. With his parents Malby and Mildred Parrish, and brother Stanley, Bob prided himself on creating and growing a legacy with Crescent Ridge Dairy, a third-generation family run business.
Bob met Ardeth while delivering milk to her Sharon kindergarten classroom. Shortly after they became engaged, Bob was called to serve his country. Although his army career only lasted six months due to a paperwork snafu, he was proud to have done so. After his return he married Ardeth in an evening ceremony, scheduled intentionally to allow him to complete his chores and run his morning milk route.
One thing stronger than his work ethic was his faith and commitment to his church. Bob was a lifelong member of the First Baptist Church of Sharon. He was a man of great faith and fervently served his Lord and Savior. He practiced his faith by helping many people within the church and beyond, often-times anonymously. Bob prided himself in embracing a changing world and how the church could minister and support a vibrant community. He sang in the choir, served as a deacon and a trustee. However, he would rather be remembered for developing meaningful relationships which he continued to nurture until his last day.
He was a member of the Norfolk County Farm Bureau for 56 years. Bob has served in multiple capacities including President, Vice-President, and Chair of many committees. He has served as Treasurer for 36 years. We have been told that he was budget conscious and balanced the books to the penny. Bob received the John Ogonowski award for his service to the agricultural industry several times.
Bob has distinguished himself as a “keeper of history” due to his extensive memory of important milestones in the history of Sharon town government. He was an active participant in Town Meetings, often offering a “unique” perspective on current issues.
He remained devoted to the town of Sharon, due particularly to its diversity, rich history, commitment to conservation and preservation of community. During his retirement, he served in the Town Accounting Office and volunteered at the Sharon Historical Society. On his 90th birthday, the Sharon Board of Selectman issued a proclamation in his honor.
Bob was a loyal member of the Blue Hill Masonic Lodge of Canton for over 35 years. His commitment to the philosophies and virtues of Freemasonry are continued today by members of his family.
Bob was devoted to sustaining his many friendships through phone calls and trips to area restaurants. Naturally in his long life, he experienced the loss of many family members and loved ones, but recently focused on the remaining treasured times with his long-time friends, Shirley Schofield and Helen Hogan, and more recent dear companion, Maureen McNeil.
Bob enjoyed watching TV reruns, times at “the Cape house”, finding the nearest farm to tour, solitaire on his computer, and playing cards. But more than anything, he most enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He will be remembered for his corny one-line jokes, sage advice, compassion for others and “one serious moment a day”. “Work first, play later, and have fun along the way”.
Interment will be private with a memorial service to celebrate his life at a future date.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made to: The First Baptist Church of Sharon, 2 South Main St, Sharon, MA 02067.