Parrish established himself as a warfighter while a U.S. Army Air Forces veteran of World War II. He later joined in the Missouri Air National Guard and rose to the position of commander of the 131st Tactical Fighter Group in St. Louis. Sadly, the seasoned command pilot was killed when the F-100C he was piloting crashed on May 7, 1966, during a close air support mission for a Marine Reserve unit on maneuvers at Ft. Leonard Wood. At the time of his death, Parrish was employed in a full-time capacity by the Internal Revenue Service in addition to being married with two daughters. He was laid to rest in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.