Lonny was born in LeHigh to Henry Edgar and Hattie Irvin Parrish on July 15, 1921. He attended school in Schulter, where he graduated high school in 1939.
He went on to earn a BA degree from East Central State College, Ada, majoring in History and Government Education. Lonny also attended the University of Oklahoma where he received his master’s degree in Secondary School Administration and his doctorate in General School Administration.
His undergraduate work was interrupted when he served three years in the U.S. Navy during World War II as an Aviation Machinist Mate, First Class. He was attached to U.S. Navy Patrol Squadron PATSU 1-2, and he spent two years in the South Pacific.
When he completed his undergraduate degree Lonny took a teaching position in Pleasant Grove School in Seminole County. He served as principal there from 1948-1955. Following this he advanced to hold the position of Superintendent of Schools in the Dewar, Ringling, Tahlequah, Okmulgee, and Oologah Public School Systems.
Lonny was an active lifelong member of the First United Methodist Church. He was also active and held offices of leadership in many civic and professional organizations including: Who’s Who In American Education 1963-1975; Phi Delta Kappa; OEA; NEA; Oklahoma School Administrators; National Association of School Administrators; School Administrators Division of the Eastern Oklahoma O.E.A. District; Program and Planning Committee of The Commission on Teacher Education and Professional Standards for Oklahoma; Fifth-Year Committee of the TEPS Commission; Okmulgee County OEA. He was a member of the Kiwanis, Lions and Rotary Clubs, as well as the Chamber of Commerce.
Lonny married his great love, Betty Lou Walker, in May 9, 1942. Together they raised five daughters, all of whom followed his passion for education and teaching. He excelled in sports including basketball and baseball. He was a great follower of all sports, especially the Oklahoma Sooners. He rarely missed any of his grandchildren’s events. He and Betty loved traveling. He was a competitive golfer and an avid fisherman. He remained a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather throughout his life.
Lonny was preceded in death by his parents and three brothers, Avern, Thurman, and T.H. Parrish. He is survived by a sister, Jean Bell of Wilburton; and five daughters: Lonnetta Pogue of Ringling, Becky Reed of Okmulgee, Nancy Greene and husband Richard of Okmulgee, Marjory Gregory and husband Larry of Carlsbad, NM; Jennifer Copeland and husband, Steve, of Oologah; as well as, fourteen grandchildren, and many great and great-great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Services will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 at the First United Methodist Church in Okmulgee. Pallbearers will be Richard Greene, Larry Gregory, Steve Copeland, Charles Pogue, Anthony Eversole, Larry W. Gregory, Dallas Greene, and Josh Copeland.
Burial will follow the service at the Okmulgee Cemetery under the direction of the Jackson Funeral Home and Crematory inOkmulgee. Military honors will be conducted by the United States Navy and the Patriot Guard Riders.
Visitation will be Wednesday from noon to 8 p.m. at the Jackson Funeral Home in Okmulgee.