Edward Arnold Parrish of Madison, Alabama passed away Sunday, November 26, 2023 at the age of 86.
The oldest of three brothers, Arnold grew up in the central Alabama town of Alexander City. During his teen years, he learned to work hard and held a variety of jobs from plowing fields, to driving a school bus, to waiting on the well-heeled patrons of Belk-Hudson’s Department store.
He attended the Baptist church with his mother where he learned to lead congregational singing at the age of 15. He would continue to lead songs with his strong, clear voice for decades to come.
His academic talent and involvement in music brought him to the attention of the high school benefactor “Miss Russell.” She nurtured his potential and arranged a scholarship for him to attend Jacksonville State University where he earned a degree in Business with a minor in Mathematics.
Upon graduation from college, Arnold embarked on a 28 year career with the Army Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES). His strong work ethic and persistent efforts toward personal growth ultimately led him to the position of Chief of Procurement & Policy. His role gave him the opportunity to travel across North America, Europe and Asia.
An assignment early in his career took him to Goose Bay, Labrador Canada. There he met his wife Laura who was his devoted partner of 57 years and his tireless caregiver when his health began to decline. Together, Arnold and Laura built a life centered around their three children, service to God and service to others.
Arnold had a need to be productive and had little patience with idleness. After retirement from AAFES, Arnold worked in a number of other roles and served in the Civitan club. He was an avid gardener and supplied fresh vegetables for himself and his neighbors. No one enjoyed a fresh, ripe tomato from the garden more than he did. Good food and exercise were important to him. He was an enthusiastic participant in local 5K runs into his 60’s.
Arnold was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Huntsville at the time of his death.
He was preceded in death by his father, Edward Dennis Parrish, his mother, Obera Agnes Parrish and his brother, Lynn Claxton Parrish.
Arnold is survived by his wife Laura Parrish, his brother James Earl Parrish (Margaret) and his children Debbie Guidolin (Michael), Susan Thuss (Todd), Philip Parrish (Bradie); grandchildren Laura Guidolin, Michael John Guidolin, Hannah Thuss, Jackson Parrish and Bella Parrish; niece Lisa Fetner; nephews Jason Parrish and Jonathan Parrish.
A visitation will be held on Friday, December 8, 2023 from Legacy Chapel from 1:00 P.M. to 2:00 P.M. with the funeral service following at 2:00 P.M. Interment will follow at Huntsville Memory Gardens.
Condolences and memories can be shared at www.legacychapelfunerals.com.