Whitman County Gazette 

Gerald "Jerry" Parrish

May 16, 1937 - Feb. 17, 2023


March 16, 2023

Gerald "Jerry" Parrish

Gerald "Jerry" Parrish passed away peacefully, on Friday, February 17th, at Whitman Medical Center in Colfax. He was 85 years old. His passing leaves a sizeable hole in his family and his beloved community. He will be missed by many.

Born May 16th, 1937, on the family farm in Sunset, Wash., to Earl and Annabel Parrish. He graduated from St John High School in 1955 and went to work for Inland Empire Milling Co., so he could be close while he waited for Vera Mae Sharp, the love of his life, to graduate from high school. They were married five days later. He enlisted in the US Army in 1960 and served for two years, stationed at Fort Lewis, where in 1961, son William was born.

Once he left the Army, they lived in St. John where son David was born in 1963. They remained there until 1967 while Jerry worked at the St John Grange Supply. The family then moved to Spokane, living there for six years. Daughter Lori joined the family in 1971. While in Spokane, Jerry worked as a truck driver, long hauling cows with good friend Leland Morrison and then petroleum products. They moved back to St John in 1973 where Jerry returned to work for the Grange Supply. Several years later, Jerry went to work for McGregor's as they established the new location in St John. After several seasons there, he went back to the Grange Supply where he would "retire" at sixty-three. After retirement, he took a job working for Nick Henning at Sunset Acres. When Nick retired, Jerry worked for the Nelson Brothers, Steve, and Scott, driving tractor until the ripe old age of eighty-three. If it were not for the fall, he sustained in 2021, he would still be doing it. There is no doubt! During Jerry's life, he gave back as a long-time member of the St John Town Council and member of the St. John Volunteer Fire Dept.

Jerry will be remembered for his dedication to his family, his community, his work ethic and always lending a helping hand wherever one was needed. He was kind. He was generous. He was honest and of high moral character. He had a tremendous sense of humor and loved to laugh. Since his passing, many have mentioned his smile and his laugh. He never met a stranger. I cannot count the number of times I saw him return dusty, from a long day in the field, remove his boots, say "Hi Mom" and give her a kiss.

He very much enjoyed his wife and kids, his grandkids and friends, farmer friends and neighbors, He enjoyed the occasional beer! He cherished his morning coffee at the café for decades and really missed not being able to get down there to catch up with the regulars. He enjoyed many trips to Priest Lake with friends. He enjoyed watching football and Gonzaga basketball, sometimes with a beer! He enjoyed the Friday Night Dinner at the Rialto with all his friends. Those meals out with friends were always filled with love and laughter.

Jerry is survived by his wife, Vera of St John; son William (Cathy, grandsons Griffin and Gavin) of St John; son, David (Amy, of Spokane granddaughter Hailey (Paul Twining) great-granddaughter Chloe of Tacoma, grandson Cameron); daughter Lori, (Mallan, grandsons Daonte and Daiquani) of St John; sister Dorothy Jean (Bob McBride) of St John; sister Joanne Sharp (Roy Sharp deceased) of St John. Many nieces and nephews, many extended family members and many, many friends.

A celebration of Jerry's life will be held on Friday, March 17th at 2:00 pm at the St John Community Building.

Memorial donations can be made to St John Fire Dept or St. John Golf and CC.


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