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Russell Carl Parris

Russell Carl Parris, 97, departed this life at his home surrounded by his loving family on September 29, 2019.  He was a life-long resident of Pleasant Hill except during his service in World War II.

The funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, October 3, 2019 at the Wallace Funeral Home in Pleasant Hill with Pastor Mark Conway officiating. Casket Bearers will be Brian Parris, Russell Wayne Parris, Ryan Parris, Jake Lanier, Keith Higgs and Logan Rapp. Honorary Bearers are Glover Springer, Harry Lee Yoder, Russell Joe Martin, Rex Riggs, John Goodwin and Steve Yoder. The family will receive friends from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on Thursday at the funeral home. Burial will be in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery.  Contributions in memory of Russell may be made to Pleasant Hill High School for the Pleasant Hill FFA program. Please note FFA Program in memory of Russell Parris in the memo line.

Russell was born to Lester and Elizabeth (Kelly) Parris on May 27, 1922 in Pleasant Hill, Missouri on the family farm.  Russell attended the Wingate School for grades 1-8.  His commute to high school was five miles each way and sometimes he was lucky enough to take a horse part way but usually he just walked.  He was a charter member of the FFA and graduated from Pleasant Hill High School in 1940.

After high school Russell moved to California where he worked at a steel supply company then as a welder in a shipyard.  In October, 1942, he joined the Merchant Marines to serve in World War II.  Russell served first in the Atlantic, sailing many times from the east coast to Venezuela and on to the Middle East.  From 1944-1948 he was sailing the Pacific from the west coast to Australia and Japan.  He sailed around the world twice and was in Hiroshima two weeks after the atomic bomb was dropped.

After leaving the Merchant Marines he came home to Pleasant Hill and started working with his two brothers-in-law hauling freight in the midwest.  In 1951 he started farming full-time with his dad on the family farm.

On October 25, 1953 he married Juanita Bowers whom he had met 8 years before on a blind date.  He thought she was too young at the time, but after the war they reunited.  Following their honeymoon they moved into the home where they lived and farmed for the rest of their lives. During his farming career Russell was an active member and leader of various agricultural organizations.

Juanita preceded him in death in 2005.  He is survived by Ronnie (Jackie), Mike (Cindy), David (Jeanie) of Pleasant Hill, and Gayle Lanier (Tim) of Colorado.  Also surviving are 11 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.


19 Messages

  • ken mccauley Posted October 2, 2019 10:00 am

    A really fine man RIP

  • Liz Lynn Posted October 2, 2019 3:23 pm

    I always heard the nicest compliments about him from his daughter Gayle. She was always so happy speaking about him and loved him dearly.

  • Earl L Parris Posted October 2, 2019 4:12 pm

    Uncle Russ was special to me. My first memory of him is when I was about 6 years old. I was acting up at the dinner table and he thumped me on the forehead. Needless to say I didn’t act up around him again. A lot of memories of when I was a young teenager working and living with him and Juanita on the farm for three summers. Always enjoyed being around him. Thanks David for the things you said about your dad. Well done! Sad to think that he was the last of his generation of the family.

  • Frances Hansard Posted October 2, 2019 6:07 pm

    So sorry for your loss. So glad we got to visit him 2 years ago. I treasure the picture he gave me of the family reunion we all attended in Pleasant Hill. Prayers and hugs to everyone — I loved him too.

  • Frances Hansard Posted October 2, 2019 6:41 pm

    So sorry for your loss. I imagine there was a big reunion in Heaven when his loved ones saw him step through the gate. I loved him too, and treasure the family reunion picture he gave me when we were visiting him summer before last. Stay strong. Hugs and prayers

  • MaryBeth Henry Jennings Posted October 2, 2019 10:30 pm

    I’m so very sorry for your loss

  • Jennifer Willis Posted October 3, 2019 8:00 am

    Prayers for your family during this time

  • Jerry McKellips & Marilyn Morris Posted October 3, 2019 9:59 am

    Our deepest sympathy to all. We are so sorry for the loss of your Father/Grandfather. May your wonderful memories of the many good family times with him and working your farm together bring you peace and serenity during this difficult time. He is now with your Mother, in the arms of our Lord. God Bless all of you, until you all meet again.

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