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Thomas Donald Parrish

Born: 6/25/1921
Died: 3/23/2012
Age: 90
Community: Flushing, MI

Parrish, Thomas Donald of Flushing, age 90, died Friday, March 23, 2012 at his residence of pancreatic cancer. Funeral services will be held 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at Rossell Funeral Home. Chaplain Bill Evans officiating. Cremation will follow services. Visitation will be from 4-8:00 p.m. Monday, 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. and 4-8:00 p.m. Tuesday, and Noon until the time of service Wednesday at the funeral home. If desired, memorial contributions may be made to the March of Dimes or the Flushing Restoration Foundation.

Thomas, the Man, the Myth, the Legend, was born to Daisy and Richard Parrish in Flint on June 25, 1921. As a young boy, a physical disability helped shape the amazing strength, courage, and tenacity that led him through a full and successful life. As a teen he developed his skill in carpentry by building and selling pine furniture. He was successful enough to give the gift of in-door plumbing to his mom. After graduating from Northern High School in 1941, unable to enlist, he was given the opportunity to study on an accelerated program at GMI with a co-op at Buick. It was at Buick he met and married the love of his life, Jean Hansen. As Tom earned his degrees in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, he single-handedly built their first home. Tom and Jean's adventures began in that small house on Lavender Street with the birth of their first two children, Tommy and Bonnie. He left Buick to run a laundromat in Indian River, became a service manager at a Buick dealership in Benton Harbor, and then came back to Flint to teach at his Alma mater, GMI. Daughters, Susan and Janet were born and he moved on to be head of the Special Machinery Division of GM's Ternstedt. By then he had constructed another house and moved the family to Flushing in 1957. In the 60's, Tom was a partner in creating the sporting goods store of Cougar and Hunter, was president of the Flushing Chamber of Commerce in 1969, and ventured into his own industrial consulting business before becoming vice president of Hougen Manufacturing. In the 80's, he began another home as a retirement project on the banks of the Flint River. Because of his talent in the stock market he was recently able to generously contribute to the Flushing Restoration Foundation which has helped save the old Flushing City Hall and Library from demolition. It is in the process of being refurbished and has become the Tom and Jean Parrish Community Center.

Tom was preceded in death by his wife, Jean and their son, Thomas Martin Parrish.

Surviving are: his daughters, Bonnie and husband Les Nuckols of Beaverton, OR, Susan and husband John Sullivan of Clio, and Janet Johnson of Flint; seven grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

Tom will be missed by his family and many friends, notably for his sense of humor, his booming laughter, his intellect, and his love of a good party.
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  Rossell Funeral Home
307 E Main
Flushing, MI 48433

Phone: (810) 659-6342

Web Site:

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4:00pm to 8:00pm Monday. 11:00am to 2:00pm,4:00pm to 8:00pm Tuesday and 11:00 am until time of service Wednesday.
Funeral Service
Date:   3/28/2012
Time:   2:00 PM
Location:   Rossell Funeral Home
307 E Main
Flushing, MI 48433

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Official:   Chaplain Bill Evans

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