William Kenneth “Bill” Parrish, 78, Retired Educator

William K. “Bill” Parrish, 78, passed away on Tuesday following an illness.

Bill graduated from Selma High School and Barton (Atlantic Christian) College. He received his Master of Arts in Education from East Carolina University.

He was a professional educator with Johnston County Schools for 35 years. He was a teacher and assistant principal at the old Smithfield High School, principal of South Smithfield Elementary, the first principal of the newly constructed Smithfield Jr. High School, and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum/Instruction. He retired as principal of Clayton High School in 1996. Mr. Parrish was also instrumental in starting the AG Center for academically gifted students in 1986. He was a leader, mentor and friend to countless students and teachers.

“Bill Parrish is an icon in public education for Johnston County Public Schools,” said Superintendent Dr. Ross Renfrow on Thursday. “Having served as a beloved teacher and school administrator, he is well thought of and well loved by teachers and students.  Mr. Parrish has left a massive impact on numerous teachers and students as well as the communities in which he served.  He will be sorely missed.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”

Bill also served Christ as a faithful member, Sunday School teacher, church officer and Deacon of Unity Free Will Baptist Church in Smithfield. He was a strong supporter of the National Association of Free Will Baptists and had a special love for Welch College in Nashville, Tennessee, sending his children and grandchildren there as students.

Mr. Parrish was an avid golfer and a long-time member of the Cardinal Country Club. He enjoyed traveling, especially going to the cottage in North Myrtle Beach, SC and spending time with his grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Frances Hall Parrish, two sons, Kent Parrish of Smithfield, and Todd Parrish of Washington and several grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, April 14th at 2:00pm at Unity Free Will Baptist Church, 104 West Langdon Avenue, Smithfield, with visitation prior to the service at 1:00pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Welch College, PO Box 479, Gallatin, Tennessee, 37066.