James O. Parish, 96, of Westport, passed away at 11:06 p.m. on Sunday, January 22, 2017, at Morning Breeze Health Care Center. He was born on June 8, 1920, in Decatur County, the son of Alva O. and Mary Dell (Annis) Parish. He graduated from Burney High School in 1938 and was a lifelong resident of Decatur County. Jim owned and operated Sinclair Gas Station in Westport for 10 years, worked for Arvin Industries for four years, Cosco Industries for 16 years, delivered Petroleum Products for Atlantic Richfield Oil Company in Greensburg for eight years and Westport Lumber Company.
He was a member of the Westport Christian Church, the former Forest Hill Presbyterian Church, IOOF Lodge #681 in Westport, Westport Town Board for seven years, member and past president of the Westport Kiwanis Club, Westport Community Building Board member for 15 years, Greensburg/Decatur County Library Board in Greensburg, Greensburg American Legion Post #129, Veterans of Foreign Wars #5584 in Greensburg and #2695 in Shelbyville and Disabled American Veterans.
Jim was a veteran, having served with the U.S. Army during WWII in the Pacific Theatre. He received the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. He participated in the Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., on Sept. 8, 2013.
He was honored by the Indiana General Assembly with a House Resolution on Feb. 28, 2016, for his service to his country during WWII, to his community, his church and his family. He married Wilma Grimes on July 13, 1941, in Kingston, and she preceded him in death on July 20, 2016.
Survivors include his son, Michael Lynn Parish of Westport; his daughters, Mary Belle Baltus of Columbus, Jean Ann Petrie and Barbara Darlene Tobias, both of Westport; his nine grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; seven step-grandchildren and nine step-great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; and brother, Everett R. “Bud” Parish.
The funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, at the Bass & Gasper Funeral Home in Westport. Pastor Mike Bartlett and Pastor George Willette will be officiating. Burial will follow at the Westport Cemetery with Military Graveside Services. A time of visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017, with AIOOF service at 7:30 p.m.
Memorial contributions may be made through the funeral home to the Riley Hospital for Children, Our Hospice of South Central Indiana or Westport Christian Church. Online condolences can be made to the family at www.bassgasper.com.