James Thomas “Tom” Parris, 69

by | November 29, 2017 2:31 pm

   A celebration of life service in memory of James Thomas “Tom” Parris, 69, of Greenville, S.C., were held Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017, at 4 p.m. at Ora Associate Presbyterian Church in Gray Court, S.C. A brief graveside service followed. He died peacefully at his home and went to meet his Lord and Master on November 16, 2017, after several months of declining health.

   Born April 3, 1948, Mr. James Thomas “Tom” Parris was the son of the late James “Bob” Robert and Virginia Nelson Parris of Enoree, S.C. He attended the Ora Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Ora, S.C., whenever possible.

   After graduation from Woodruff High School in 1966, Parris served four years in the United States Air Force. Upon his completion of military duty, he earned an associate degree in horticulture from Spartanburg Technical College. He planted and managed apple orchards in Salem, S.C., for several years.

   He accompanied his wife, Marilyn, to Charleston, S.C., and was the ground manager for the Medical University of South Carolina for two years while she attended the university.

   While living in Swainsboro, Parris earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Georgia Southern University.  He worked in the insurance business for a number of years, both in Georgia and Greenville, S.C. He achieved the LUTCF, CLU, and CFP. His final stint in the work field was with the State of South Carolina in Social Services, from which he retired after 14 years of service.

   Parris enjoyed playing tennis for many years while living in Swainsboro. Along with his wife, he enjoyed maintaining a year-round beautifully landscaped yard full of beautiful flowers in Greenville. He had been an active member in the Greater Greenville Rose Society and assisted in putting on rose shows in the Carolina District. Parris also helped maintain the Shaw Rose Garden in Greenville. He enjoyed cooking and grilling. He always looked forward to sharing his “concoctions” with family and friends and watching their reactions and hearing their comments about his latest recipes. He was an avid and loyal Georgia Bulldogs and Atlanta Falcons Fan.

  In October 2015, Parris became involved with the Honor Flight Veteran Program. He went on the military honor flight to Washington, D.C., and was responsible for two World War II veterans from his neighborhood. In October 2016, he went again with another World War II veteran. These trips meant the world to those veterans and their families, as well as Parris.

   In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a younger brother, Michael “Mike” Keith Parris of Woodruff, S.C.

   Survivors include his loving wife of 49 years, Marilyn Jane Ingraham Parris and his cat, Rudder, who spent many hours curled up in his lap over the seven or so years they had together, many of which were spent watching the Georgia Bulldogs and the Atlanta Falcons play ball and some just plain ole “cat-napping.” Also left behind with loving, fond, and fun memories of life are his older brother, Robert Earl Parris of Laurens, S.C.; sisters-in-law, Cheryl (Robert) Parris from Laurens, S.C., Cindy (the late Mike) Parris of Woodruff, S.C., Liane Louise Ingraham Hill of New York, Cheryl Elaine Ingraham Dover of Roebuck, S.C., and Linda Yarborough (Larry) Ingraham of Gray Court, S.C.; one brother-in-law, Larry Thomas Ingraham of Gray Court; four nephews; six great-nephews; one great-great-step-nephew; six nieces; six great-nieces; and numerous other relatives and great friends who will miss him greatly.

   Memorials may be made to The Ora ARP Church General Fund at 23420 Highway 221, Gray Court, S.C., 29645, or to a charity of one’s choice. Online condolences may be sent to the family via www.cremation-sc.com, or to individual family members if you have their “technical communication” information.

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