Don L. Parish

Published 1:40 pm Wednesday, May 18, 2022

May 14, 1945-May 12, 2022


Don L. Parish, 76, of Dowagiac, passed away, Thursday, May 12, 2022, at Ascension Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 12 p.m., Friday, May 20, at Clark Chapel, 405 Center St., Dowagiac, with Albert Jones, Christian Elder of the Biblical Church of God, officiating. Friends may visit with the family from 11 a.m. until the time of service at the funeral home. Memorial contributions in Don’s name may be made to Hospital Hospitality House of Southwest Michigan 828 S. Burdick St. Kalamazoo, MI 49001-2753. Those wishing to sign Don’s Memory Book online may do so at

Don was born May 14, 1945, in Dowagiac, to Willard and Gladys (Britton) Parish. He attended Dowagiac School and at the age of 13 he contacted polio. He returned to school on crutches but was unable to finish his education at that time, due to lack of accommodations for his condition. Don had a son, Dion Parish with his first wife Linda Lohroff.

Don worked as a mechanic for his dad who owned Parish Wrecking & Towing where he learned his skills & he built his first race car by the age of 10. He was a hard-working man & worked many years in the Dowagiac area dealerships including Hedges Dreisbach & Mani-Soret in Decatur and wrenched with Ernie Nash on his race car.

On Jan. 2, 1987, he married the love of his life, Louise (Sherwood) Hurley. Don’s love for cars led him to build another race car and helped promote the VROA. He later raced with Dion. Don was good at building and fabricating things, such as wheelchair ramps for his vehicles and his own motor-home that him and Louise traveled to Alaska to pick up Dion and his young family from military furlough. He loved his large family and will be greatly missed. He had a strong faith in God and his church family was important to him.

Don is survived by his loving wife, Louise Parish: Children: Julia (Nick) Gray, Pam (Bruce) Miller, John (Evie) Hurley and Carole Hurley (Steve Smith); daughter-in-law, Melissa (Lenny) Shedore. Grandchildren: Mindy (Jeff Munger, Jr.) Parish; Lindsey (Mike) Green; Trevor Goodrich, Abbie Goodrich; Brandon Smith, Adam (Ashlee) Smith; Megan (Josh), Lisa (Arvil) Conley, Cassidy Parsons, Jessica, Bethany, Traci, Rebecca and Billie Hurley, Seth (Sarah) Cubbedge. Great-grandchildren: Carson Parish, Madilynn, Oliver, Axel Smith, MJ Green, Cooper, Braelyn Cubbedge; and sisters, Donna Grover and Ethel Murphy, and several nieces and nephews. Special friend Steve Gillette.

Don is preceded in death by his parents; son, Dion Parish and siblings, Carolyn Fisher, and Norman Parish and Rosie.