Lawaha "Smiley" Parrish, 88, of Huntsville, Alabama, passed away peacefully on June 11, 2021. He was born in Victoria, Alabama on November 18, 1932 to Elizabeth LeCompte and William Jasper "Jep" Parrish. He attended Troy State University and graduated with a double major in History and Mathematics. Lawaha enlisted in the United States Navy and served on the USS Essex (CVS-9) aircraft carrier during the Korean War. While on leave from the Navy and traveling via train to Chicago. he was introduced to his future wife, Vivian Mae Cross. Lawaha and Vivian began corresponding via post while he served the remaining time with the Navy, and began actively dating while he attended Auburn University. They eventually married in Chilton County, Alabama in 1959 and celebrated 51 years together before Vivian's death in 2011.
After graduating as an electrical engineer, he and Vivian moved to Huntsville, Alabama where he accepted a position with the U.S. Army Missile Command. He served in that position for 30 years before retiring and taking an engineering position in the defense industry.
Smiley and Vivian raised three sons, William, Ken, and Mike whom they loved deeply. Smiley loved to laugh, was very generous, and enjoyed sharing meals with family and friends. He was unpretentious, frugal, wise and never stopped researching and learning. His knowledge, wisdom and guidance were the foundation of his family. Smiley was a passionate genealogist. He spent his retirement years reading and studying his family heritage. He enjoyed listening to big band music and watching Sunday worship services on television. Smiley was preceded in death by his parents, William and Elizabeth Parrish, his wife of 51 years, Vivian Cross Parrish, and his eldest son, William Samuel Parrish. He is survived by his two sons, Ken (Glenda) and Mike (April), his grandchildren Ramone (Pam). Kristy (Rob), Erica, Bruce (Shannon), Brian, Elizabeth, Emma Bella, and a host of great grandchildren. Lawaha loved and cherished his family.
Visitation will be held at 2:00 pm on June 15, 2021, followed by memorial service at 3:00 pm in the Chapel at Hampton Cove Funeral Home, Cemetery, and Crematory located at 6262 Highway 431 South, Owens Cross Roads, AL 35763. Burial will be in the Cemetery beside the funeral home.
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