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Kent J. Parrish

January 3, 2012

Kent J. Parrish died Dec. 27, 2011 at his home in Chubbuck.
When he wrote his own obituary a number of years ago he entitled it “107-year-old architect dies today” but the Lord called him home after only 79 years.
He was born Sept. 29, 1932 in Pocatello to Fred Ezra Parrish and Mable Edna Jensen Parrish.  He attended schools in Pocatello and graduated from Idaho State University with a degree in Architecture in 1956. He attended the National University of Mexico in Mexico City for graduate studies.
He was an LDS missionary in Boston and New Brunswick, Canada from 1953-55. He married Donna Sue Stoll December of 1955 in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple. Kent and Sue served a mission to Oakland and San Francisco in 1991-92 .
He was in the US Army Engineers and Chemical Corps for two years in California, Virginia and Dugway, Utah.
He established his own architectural practice in 1962 and designed many buildings throughout the area including: Pocatello Airport Terminal, Lava Hot Springs Olympic Pool, (awarded the “Best in the USA” the year it was built), Chubbuck City Hall and Fire Station, Pocatello City Hall (now KPVI), Ricks College Physical Plant Building, and numerous churches, schools, apartments and other projects. 
He was active in the Republican Party serving as county chairman for several years and has taken part or been a candidate in many political campaigns. He was also a charter member of the Chubbuck Lions Club and was recently honored for his service by the club.
He traveled extensively including four trips to Europe featuring one with his wife and five daughters in 1973. Travels include all 50 of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Croatia, Israel, Greece, Jordan, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.
He served in many LDS church positions including High Council, bishopric, stake mission presidency, scoutmaster, music director and teacher. He especially enjoyed working with the Handicapped Scouts of the Special Mutual and with the Special Olympics.
Kent composed many songs and poetry. Some of these songs were sung and recorded by his daughters, The Parrish Sisters. The following poem, written by Kent, is on the back of his headstone in Mountain View cemetery, on S. Fifth Avenue, Pocatello:
 
AN ARCHITECT’S PRAYER     c 1998
 The Architect of the universe, using His master plan
Has assigned a portion of His work to the feeble hand of man.
Pyramids and palaces and temples of stone
And spires that point toward Heaven and roads that lead us home.
 
I don’t know what my task should be
Or what part of the plan is meant for me.
Have I laid a brick of kindness? Have I wiped away a tear?
Do I hear the Master Builder’s voice and know when He is near? 
 
I ponder as I travel among my fellow man
And wonder if I understand where I fit in the plan.
I see the pain and turn my head
And look at other things instead.
 
I”m much too busy with games and play
And working on mansions made of clay.
Yet, in my Father’s House are mansions, I am told,
Not made of clay or brick or stone --not even made of gold,
 
But built upon the love we show, not on a life of ease,
And pleasant thoughts and kindly deeds unto the “least of these”
To help the traveler on the road, the prisoner in his cell,
The sick man, and the thirsty man, wishing each one well.
 
To subdue the earth, to build a bridge, there is so much to do.
The Architect of the Universe has work for me and you.
So, ask Him, with a prayerful heart and wait for His reply,
And do your best, endure to the end, and simply say, “I’ll try”.
 
Survivors include his wife and five daughters; Kendra Burton (David), Salt Lake City, Utah; Jan Frew (Alan), Boise; Lynne Foster (Jim), Pocatello; Carla Aylworth (Kym), Boise; Debbie King (Karl), Boise. He is also survived by 24 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren, and one sister, Victoria J. Williams (Carl) of Boise.
He was preceeded in death by his parents and three younger brothers, Max Fred Parrish, Bart J. Parrish and Rodney J. Parrish and a granddaughter, Rachel Burton.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011, at the LDS Chubbuck 1st Ward Building at 4775 Hawthorne Road (of which he was the architect).
A viewing will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 30, 2011 at Wilks Funeral Home, 211 W. Chubbuck Road, and one hour prior to the services on Saturday at the church. 
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Wilks Funeral Home, 238-8000. 
Condolences may be sent to Kent’s family at www.wilksfuneralhome.com.

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