Terry L. Parish of Bechtelsville passed away on May 22, 2018. He was born in 1941 in Oklahoma. He and his twin brother were the youngest of eight children born to Glenn Parish and Ollie Love. After the death of their mother when they were age 8, they were raised in an orphanage until they went to work on a cattle ranch in northern Oklahoma at age 16.
Married to Ida E. (Moyer) Parish for 50 years, Terry is survived by six children: David Parish (Kimberly) of Bechtelsville; Elizabeth Haring (Timothy) of Boyertown; Abby Parish Moser (Craig) of Pennsburg; Cynthia Thompson (Michael) of Arlington, Texas; John Parish (Kristy) of Dryville; and Daniel Parish of Bridgeport. He is also survived by seven grandchildren, and a brother in North Carolina. He was predeceased by his parents, three brothers, three sisters, and a granddaughter, Kate Elizabeth Moser.
During his life he worked at many different jobs. He mowed lawns; he stocked shelves in a grocery store; he was a farmer, a cowboy, and a ranch hand; he milked cows on a dairy farm; he followed the wheat harvest from Oklahoma to Canada; he was a bill collector; he was a door-to-door salesman; he was a dish washer; he was a bouncer in a nightclub; he worked as a rough-neck on oil drilling rigs in Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Texas; he operated oil well logging and perforation trucks and equipment in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri; he was a Deputy Sheriff; he was an Assistant District Attorney; and he practiced law for more than forty-two years.
In May, 1964, he obtained a BA degree from Oklahoma Baptist University, majoring in government (political science), with a minor in history. In his senior year of college, he was named in the 1963-1964 edition of “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges” (Volume XXX). He was elected to serve during his senior year as President of the Oklahoma Intercollegiate Student Association, a statewide confederation of student governments in twenty-two colleges and universities in Oklahoma. He also served in various capacities in the Student Government Association at his own university. He was a member of the Student-Faculty Committee, the Honor Code Commission, and the Disciplinary Committee. In 1963, he was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa, an old and respected national leadership society, to which he proudly belonged until his death.
In the fall of 1964 he enrolled in the law school of George Washington University in Washington, D.C. At the height of the Vietnam War the government cancelled college draft deferments for graduate study. When he received notice of impending draft in late 1964 he withdrew from school, joined the Navy Reserve, and returned to Oklahoma to work in the oil field for six months until he had to report for boot camp in San Diego, California.
He joined the Navy as a white-hat sailor, but the pressure to accept an officer’s commission was intense, so he agreed to go to Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Newport, Rhode Island. He graduated from OCS on February 11, 1966, standing number 4 in his class of 307. He was the Commander of Company M (“Mike”).
After OCS, he went to U.S. Naval School Underwater Swimmers in Key West, Florida; then back to Newport for intelligence training; communications training; cryptography training; registered publications and top secret materials control training; Division Officer training; Officer of the Deck school; and boat handling training. He was stationed aboard the USS Independence (CVA 62), an aircraft carrier. After more than two years of sea duty as an Officer of the Line, he was assigned as the U.S. Navy Liaison Officer to coordinate between the U.S. Navy and the Brazilian Navy, which bought a destroyer from the Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia. The Brazilians commissioned the ship into the Brazilian Navy as CT Santa Caterina (D32). Terry lived abroad the Brazilian ship for seven months. The rest of his five years on active duty were spent in his specialty ratings of intelligence, counterintelligence, and investigations, being assigned as Executive Officer and then Commanding Officer of the Naval Investigative Service – Office of Naval Intelligence on the U. S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. During law school and for several years after moving to Pennsylvania he drilled in the active reserve units in Oklahoma City and at the Shipyard in Philadelphia. His total time in the Navy Reserve was ten years, three months, and sixteen days.
Released from active duty in 1969 he started law school at Oklahoma University in September, 1970. He graduated with a Juris Doctorate degree in May, 1973. During the first two years he worked at night as a Deputy Sheriff in Cleveland County, Oklahoma while attending classes during the day. He worked sixteen hours every other night, and consequently he only slept every other night. During his senior year, commencing in September, 1972, he was one of twenty law students licensed by the Oklahoma Supreme Court to practice law as a Legal Intern. He worked a full 40-hour week in a three-man law firm in Norman, Oklahoma, for which he received credit for classwork. Despite his heavy workload, Terry graduated in the top 20% of his class; 37 of 178.
After graduating and passing the Oklahoma Bar Examination, the family moved to Pennsylvania in June, 1973. He opened his own office in Pottstown, in the fall of 1973, and then in 1974 joined his practice with John J. Murphy, Jr., a lawyer in Boyertown. He and his partner worked as part-time Assistants in the District Attorney’s office in Berks County, Pennsylvania, until 1976.
Over the years, his law practice became highly specialized in the field of municipal law and complex land use litigation. In forty years of active practice he attended over two thousand municipal meetings and hearings, mostly in the evening. His work was evenly split between representation of the municipal government entity on one hand and landowners on the other. He represented two different Berks County townships for over twenty years. He provided various levels of representation to about one dozen municipalities over the years, including: municipal governing bodies, municipal planning commissions, civil service commissions, zoning hearing boards, and sewer authorities.
For many years he provided legal services to local police departments and to the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge No. 9, of Reading, Pennsylvania, at reduced compensation. He handled grievances and unfair labor practice litigation; he served as the police negotiator in collective bargaining; and served as the interest arbitrator for the police when an agreement was not reached and the issues went to arbitration. He also did pro bono work for several non-profit organizations; for fire companies; and for ambulance and advanced life support units.
He served on the Faculty of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, the continuing legal education wing of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He wrote the materials and delivered lectures in a seminar setting to lawyers on subjects relating to municipal law, land use litigation, and sewage facilities planning.
He was a member of the Berks County Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Bar Association since 1974. He served on various committees of both those Associations. He was admitted to practice in all minor judiciary courts, trial courts, and appellate courts in Pennsylvania; in the United States District Courts; and in the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals. He practiced extensively before all of those courts and before the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board, a statewide regulatory agency in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He practiced before other administrative agencies in Harrisburg including the Department of Environmental Protection, the Public Utilities Commission, the Liquor Control Board, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Transportation, the Real Estate Licensing Board, the Department of Labor and Industry, and the Department of Revenue. This work amounted to several hundred trials and other adversarial proceedings before those courts and administrative agencies, including at least a dozen appearances before the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court for both criminal and civil cases.
He served one term as President of Borough Council of Bechtelsville. During his time on Borough Council he was instrumental in acquiring the old train station in the Borough which was converted into Borough Hall, a quaint and historic feature. While on Borough Council he represented Bechtelsville on the Berks/Montgomery Area Council of Governments, a regional consortium of local government agencies.
He was a long-term member of The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies. He was a licensed pilot and was a member of Airplane Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) since 1979. He was a Distinguished Life Member of the National Rifle Association (NRA). He was a Life Member of the USS Independence Association.
He served on the Board of Directors of the National Council on Alcoholism, Berks County Chapter. He was the incorporator and one of the founders of Alcohol Safe Driving, Inc., which designed the curriculum for the first court-mandated program for DUI offenders in Berks County. The pilot program in Berks County was implemented statewide by the Governor’s Council on Chemical Abuse. Half of his salary as an Assistant District Attorney was paid by the Governor’s Council.
He was a member of the Pennsylvania Boroughs Association, the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, and the Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Association. He was a member of the Oklahoma Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association.
His hobbies included deep water fishing, woodworking, collecting pocket knives, and genealogy. He was a true scholar of the history of the Civil War, with hundreds of books on that subject in his personal library. He was a loving husband, a caring father, and respected by many. He wished to be remembered fondly.
A funeral service will be held Wednesday May 30, 2018 at 11:00 AM at Catagnus Funeral Home & Cremation Center, Inc., 1020 E. Philadelphia Ave., Gilbertsville. Burial will follow at Bethel Church Cemetery, Spring City. Visitation will be held Tuesday May 29 from 6:00-8:00 PM and again on Wednesday May 30 from 10:00-10:45 AM at the funeral home.