|Birth: ||Sep. 28, 1926|
|Death: ||Nov. 24, 2013|
Leo M. Parsons, 87 of Belk, Texas passed away Sunday, November 24, 2013 at his residence. The funeral service will be held 10:30 A.M., Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at Belk United Methodist Church with Terry Parsons, Mark Hutchison and Betty Lyke officiating. Burial willfollow at Forest Chapel United Methodist Church cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6:00-7:00 on Tuesday, November 26,2013 at Fry-Gibbs Funeral Home.
Leo Melvin Parsons was born September 28, 1926 in Direct, Texas. He was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Bobbie Campbell Parsons, his parents, Melvin and Carrye McCraw Parson and brother Clifford Parson all of Garrett's Bluff, Texas. He is survived by his children, JoAnna Parsons of Paris, Robert Parsons and wife Sherrie of Taos, New Mexico, and Karen LaPier of Rockwall, Texas; grandchildren Michael Crabtree, Katharine Bryan and husband Cheyney, Zachary Nash, Ashley Rolshoven, and Marissa and Christina LaPier; and great-grandchildren Isaac, Ava, and Colt. Brothers Jimmie K. Parson, Billie M. Parson and wife, Beth, as well as nieces, nephews and many friends. The family wishes to give a special thanks to Shirley Posey and Heather Black for their devotion and kindness in caring for Mr. Parsons during his illness.
Pall bearers are Brad Hughes, Randy Parsons, Kevin Parsons, Mike Parsons, Randy Meade and Richard Drake.
Honorary pall bearers are Theo Lenior, Victor Foster, Don Ensey, Jack Dabbs, Joel Hughes, Mike Rhodes, J.B.
Bankhead and Dick Severson.
Leo was a faithful member of Belk United Methodist Church. In addition to his farming and ranching business, Leo was a former member of Lamar County Farm Bureau, Planter's Coop Gin of Chicota, TX, and Lamar County Agricultural Stabilization Committee, owner and partner with good friend, David Buster of B & P Construction, owner of Red River Valley Seed Farm, Parsons Catering and The Dinner Bell Restaurant. In 1981, he was honored with the Food & Fiber Agri-Business Award by the Lamar County Agricultural Stabilization Committee. In 1983, The Texas Department of Agriculture awarded Leo M. Parsons with the Family Land Heritage Program Award for having his land in the same family and being in constant agricultural production for over 100 years. On February 24, 2001, The Roan Oak #860 Masonic Lodge of Garrett's Bluff, Texas honored him with The Community Builder Award, which is the highest honor a masonic lodge can bestow on a non-member to formally recognize those who distinguish themselves through service to their community.
Shortly after he graduated from Chicota High School in 1944, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and received his basic training at Ft. Hood in Killeen, Texas along with his good friend, Dub Bassett. He was assigned to an engineering company and served as a member of the initial occupational forces of Japan, arriving there in November, 1945, after an agonizing 2 week journey by ship. While there, he learned to operate motor graders and bulldozers constructing landing strips for the military to bring in supplies for the rebuilding of Japan.
After his discharge from the military, he took a welding class offered to veterans. His teacher for this course was Artis Edzards. They built a strong friendship that lasted over 60 years until Mr.Edzards' death in 1999. In 1981, along with his friends, Artis Edzards, Dub Bassett and David Buster a group was formed that founded Lamar National Bank. He has remained an active member of the Board of Directors of the bank since its inception.
As a third generation land owner in Belk, Texas, Leo has spent his lifetime ranching and farming. In the Chicota River Bottoms and surrounding counties, he raised wheat, soybeans, alfalfa hay, maize, and corn, but his very favorite crop was cotton, producing his last crop in the fall of 2007. He enjoyed traveling as long as it was in a vehicle. No flying or
sailing for him!
Many happy times were spent with Jack & Mary Sue Dabbs, Bill & Kathleen Oakley, and Don & Elsie Ensey ranging from Sunday afternoon drives, that sometimes lasted well into the night, to a trip across the western states and into Canada. His love of music ranged from the easy listening sounds of Jim Reeves, Marty Robbins and Chet Atkins, to Boots Randolph, gospel music, hymns, patriotic bands and yes, Bluegrass. He spent many hot, summer evenings at the Grant's Bluegrass Festival in Hugo, Oklahoma usually taking friends and family with him. He loved to entertain family and friends and those many happy times with him will be sorely missed.
The family requests in lieu of flowers, that donations be made to Belk United Methodist Church.
Bobbie Jean Campbell Parsons (1932 - 2009)*
Forest Chapel Cemetery
Created by: MLNYAB
Record added: Nov 25, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 120804712