OBITUARY

Preston Ashford Parham

December 15, 1921April 5, 2018
Play Tribute Movie

Our beloved Dad and Grandaddy, Preston Ashford Parham, age 96, received an honorable dis-charge from this life on April 5, 2018. A resident of the Tidewater area since 1940, he spent his final years and peacefully departed mortality in Dayton, Ohio. He was a World War II Navy vet-eran and Pearl Harbor survivor. Born December 15, 1921 in Darvills, Dinwiddie, Virginia to Charles Albert Parham and Alma Lu-cille (Vaughan) Parham, he was the fourth of five children. He married Hazel Irene Whitehead on December 2, 1949. They had two daughters, Karen and Dianne. Preston joined the U.S. Navy in February 1940. He was assigned to the USS St Louis and was on board December 7, 1941. After Pearl Harbor he served throughout the Pacific theater until the conclusion of the war, when he was present aboard the USS Pasadena in Tokyo Bay at the signing of the terms of surrender. March 1946, after discharge from the Navy, he attended and graduated from Embry-Riddle School of Aviation in Daytona Beach, Florida. He worked for 36 years as an aircraft engine mechanic, for the U.S. Navy at the Naval Air Station Rework Facility in Norfolk, Virginia. A quiet man, he was kind, steady, cheerful and uncomplaining. He was handy with everything mechanical and insatiably curious about the world. His bookshelves held stacks of ‘National Ge-ographic’ and ‘Popular Science’ among many others. His grandkids used to say, “Grandaddy can fix anything!” He and Irene were founding members of St Andrews United Methodist Church and he was its oldest member at the time of his death. They loved the people, spirit, fellowship, and association they found with those of the church; they experienced purpose and direction in living lives of faith centered in Jesus Christ. Preston is survived by his daughters, Karen (William J.) Foster and Dianne (Robert L.) Johnson, Jr; five grandchildren: Jason R. (Amour M.) Johnson, Autumn F. (Joseph V) Cook, Holly John-son Thomas (Michael J. Wheby), Robert Graham Foster, and Ashleigh F. (Ryan F) Balli, 12 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-granddaughter. He was preceded in death by his wife, Irene; and his siblings Clyde Beatrice Parham (infant), Oscar Woodrow Parham, Maurine Parham Mayo, and Vivian Parham Martin. Visitation will be held Thursday, April 12 from 6:00-8:00 pm at Rosewood-Kellum Funeral Home, 601 N Witchduck Rd, Virginia Beach. Services will be held on Friday 13 April at 11:30 am at St Andrew’s United Methodist Church, 717 Tucson Rd, Virginia Beach. Interment will take place at Rosewood Memorial Park, 631 N Witchduck Rd, Virginia Beach.

  • FAMILY

  • Irene Parham, Wife
  • Karen Foster and husband William J., Daughter
  • Diane Johnson and husband Robert L. Johnson, Jr., Daughter
  • Jason R. Johnson and wife Amour M., Grandson
  • Autumn F. Cook and husband Joseph V., Granddaughter
  • Holly John-son Thomas and Michael J. Wheby, Granddaughter
  • Robert Graham Foster, Grandson
  • Ashleigh F. Balli and husband Ryan F., Granddaughter
  • He was preceded in death by his siblings Clyde Beatrice Parham (infant), Oscar Woodrow Parham, Maurine Parham Mayo, and Vivian Parham Martin.

    Mr. Parham is also survived by 12 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-granddaughter.

Services

  • Visitation Thursday, April 12, 2018
  • Funeral Service Friday, April 13, 2018
REMEMBERING

Preston Ashford Parham

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY

receive updates when new memories are posted

RECEIVE UPDATES
Carson Whitehead

April 12, 2018

Uncle Preston is what we called him. Of all of my extended family, he made one of the deepest impressions on me as a child and an adult. When he came to visit, he brought light, laughter and love with him. He really could fix anything! We vacationed with Preston and Irene and Kay and Diane. It was 1962. Irene and my Mom bought "pedal pushers" and sunglasses. The trip was a riot and filled with memories to the brim. Though we have not been able to be regularly in touch, he made sure that when we did, there were only fun things to talk about. Then, there was the "Lucky Lucy". Now, he has slipped away from our grasp here to be called into Paradise re-united with Aunt Irene and all that love the appearing of Preston's Savior. We are stricken with tears and grief at our loss, but Preston looks back to us to remind of his high estate and his reunions; and, he says, "You see?"

Molly Pond

April 12, 2018

I have great memories of Uncle Preston having such a beautiful and infectious smile / laugh as well as a sparkle in his eye. I honestly can't ever remember a time when he was the least bit grumpy or unhappy. It was always fun to be around him as he had great stories to tell and was not only engaging to listen to but he was a great listener himself. He and Irene would take their road trips across the country in the mini van and on occasion would stop by and visit in Texas on their journey. They always seemed full of adventure and were excited about their next trip.

I also enjoyed going to visit in Virginia Beach, seeing the sites and staying with them at their house. They were always so hospitable and welcoming.

I can only imagine how his siblings, Irene and other family and friends are welcoming him into heaven right now. He is one of a kind and will be missed here on earth. Heartfelt hugs and prayers are with Karen, Diane and the entire Parham family at this time.

With Love,
Molly Pond

Patrick Allenmryanallen

April 11, 2018

I am so grateful that Preston permitted Ray Hughes from the
Cincinnati/Hamilton County Library Project an interview about his
family and career,both military and civilian. A record (video) of his
interview will forever be in the Library of Congress.
I only knew him a short time but what a fine and witty gentleman
he was! He was ready to meet his departed family and shipmates
again. God bless him for his service to our country.
Pat Allen

James Vaughan

April 9, 2018

Sending my sincere condolences to the family on the loss of Preston. I recall how he would stop by my family home in Darvills to visit, on occasion....as well as our childhood memories. It was a pleasure to be able to attend his birthday party a few years ago. Wishing you all comfort in these difficult days ahead.

If someone from the family could please call or write when time permits, I would greatly appreciate it. jinja1@embarqmail.com - 434-589-3085

James Ronald Vaughan

Mike Eidsaune

April 8, 2018

I had the incredible opportunity to spend a week getting to know Preston a couple years ago when I participated in a program at his community. When I first introduced myself to him he gave me a business card that had all of his military accomplishments listed on it along with a headshot of himself (What a baller move to have your own Life Business Card!) I knew we were going to get along.

I then got to spend the next several days getting to know Preston and hear some of his AMAZING stories. He was an incredible person with an incredible journey!

I’ll definitely miss him and will never forget him or the impression he had on me! Plus i’ve still got that business card!

Ts and Ps to the Parham Family.

Sincerely,
Mike Eidsaune

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

1978

FROM THE FAMILY

October 2012

FROM THE FAMILY

July 2017

Biography

Our beloved Dad and Grandaddy, Preston Ashford Parham, age 96, received an honorable dis-charge from this life on April 5, 2018. A resident of the Tidewater area since 1940, he spent his final years and peacefully departed mortality in Dayton, Ohio. He was a World War II Navy vet-eran and Pearl Harbor survivor.
Born December 15, 1921 in Darvills, Dinwiddie, Virginia to Charles Albert Parham and Alma Lu-cille (Vaughan) Parham, he was the fourth of five children. He married Hazel Irene Whitehead on December 2, 1949. They had two daughters, Karen and Dianne.
Preston joined the U.S. Navy in February 1940. He was assigned to the USS St Louis and was on board December 7, 1941. After Pearl Harbor he served throughout the Pacific theater until the conclusion of the war, when he was present aboard the USS Pasadena in Tokyo Bay at the signing of the terms of surrender. March 1946, after discharge from the Navy, he attended and graduated from Embry-Riddle School of Aviation in Daytona Beach, Florida. He worked for 36 years as an aircraft engine mechanic, for the U.S. Navy at the Naval Air Station Rework Facility in Norfolk, Virginia.
A quiet man, he was kind, steady, cheerful and uncomplaining. He was handy with everything mechanical and insatiably curious about the world. His bookshelves held stacks of ‘National Ge-ographic’ and ‘Popular Science’ among many others. His grandkids used to say, “Grandaddy can fix anything!”
He and Irene were founding members of St Andrews United Methodist Church and he was its oldest member at the time of his death. They loved the people, spirit, fellowship, and association they found with those of the church; they experienced purpose and direction in living lives of faith centered in Jesus Christ.
Preston is survived by his daughters, Karen (William J.) Foster and Dianne (Robert L.) Johnson, Jr; five grandchildren: Jason R. (Amour M.) Johnson, Autumn F. (Joseph V) Cook, Holly John-son Thomas (Michael J. Wheby), Robert Graham Foster, and Ashleigh F. (Ryan F) Balli, 12 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-granddaughter.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Irene; and his siblings Clyde Beatrice Parham (infant), Oscar Woodrow Parham, Maurine Parham Mayo, and Vivian Parham Martin.
Visitation will be held Thursday, April 12 from 6:00-8:00 pm at Rosewood-Kellum Funeral Home, 601 N Witchduck Rd, Virginia Beach. Services will be held on Friday 13 April at 11:30 am at St Andrew’s United Methodist Church, 717 Tucson Rd, Virginia Beach. Interment will take place at Rosewood Memorial Park, 631 N Witchduck Rd, Virginia Beach.