Birth Date: 12/23/1949
Deceased Date: 04/30/2021
Selma – Dr. Dicky E. Parrish, age 71, died Friday, April 30, 2021, at his home. He was born on December 23, 1949, in Wilson County to the late Jesse Everett and Pauline Elizabeth Smith Parrish.
A memorial service will be conducted at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, at Selma Baptist Church with Dr. Anthony Allen and Reverend Todd Daniels officiating. The family asks that those who attend the service wear a mask.
Surviving is his wife of 50 years, Kathy Batten Parrish; daughters, Leta Parrish Woodall and husband, Paul and Belva Parrish Williams and husband, Dustin; three grandchildren, who were the light of his life, Madeline Katherine Woodall, Luke Parrish Woodall, and Grayson Batten Williams, all of Selma; sisters, Sharon P. Creech and Donna P. Holloman and husband, Randy.
Dr. Parrish was raised in Micro, NC, and graduated from North Johnston High School in 1968. He was a 1976 graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry. He was chosen for the Academy of General Dentistry Award from his graduating class and was honored in Pinehurst by the Academy of General Dentistry.
After completing dental school, he moved back to Johnston County and opened his dental office on Waddell Street in Selma. He served as the President of the University of North Carolina Dental Alumni Association and as a Director for the university’s General Alumni organization. He was in practice for 40 years and continued to work even after retirement.
Dr. Parrish was a member of Selma Baptist Church where he was ordained as a Deacon in 1978. He served on many committees, including the Stewardship Committee, the Board of Trustees, and he led the Steering Committee for the construction of the church sanctuary at the current location. He went on his first mission trip to the West Indies in 1980 where he helped set up and run free dental clinics for people who did not have access to health care. His passion became local missions and he dedicated much of his time and finances to the Selma community and surrounding areas of Johnston County with the goal of improving the lives of all citizens, especially local children.
He was elected to the Johnston County Board of Education in 1986 and became the chairman in 1989. His leadership led to a major capital program in the county to replace all of the old 3-story buildings with new modern facilities. His interest in public schools and education began when he joined the Selma Elementary Parent Advisory Council in 1979 and he continued to serve through this current school year. His involvement with the schools included many capacities such as being a mentor with the Lunch Buddies program, supporting teachers with classroom needs, helping facilitate the Backpack Buddies program to ensure students with food insecurity were provided with adequate nutrition at school, and home, and much more.
Dr. Parrish was a member of the Selma Lions Club and held several leadership positions, including multiple stints as President. He was also involved with other local organizations, including the Partnership for Children of Johnston County, the Johnston County 4-H program, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts, the Johnston County Chapter of the American Cancer Society, and the Johnston County Boys and Girls Club. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Selma branch of BB&T and was a Resident Advocate with the Johnston County Nursing Home and Adult Care Home Advisory Board.
The Smithfield-Selma Area Chamber of Commerce named him the Smithfield-Selma Area Citizen of the Year in 1987, the Small Business Person of the Year in 2011, and he received the Distinguished Citizen Award in 2014. In 2020, he was nominated for the Linda B. Lassiter Philanthropist of the Year award.
In his free time, he enjoyed keeping up with local high school and college sports, riding his tractor around the farm, reading his Bible, and spending time with his grandchildren and family. He leaves a legacy of kindness, generosity, and genuine love for all people.
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 and other extenuating circumstances, there will not be a formal receiving of friends. Self-addressed postcards will be available at the memorial service and at Parrish Funeral Home. The family asks that you share a memory about Dr. Parrish or a thoughtful message and place the postcard in the basket as you leave the service, or you may mail the postcard for the family to receive your condolences.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Selma Elementary School Student and Family Assistance Fund, 311 West Richardson Street, Selma, NC 27576, Selma Baptist Church Backpack Buddies, 1500 North Webb Street, Selma, NC 27576, or Smithfield-Selma High School Athletics, 700 M. Durwood Stephenson Parkway, Smithfield, NC 27577.
Online condolences may be made to the family at parrishfh.com.