June 4, 1925 â€" November 4, 2012 James Harris Parnell, Jr., 87, of Wilson, formerly of Greenville, N.C. and Cookeville, Tenn. passed away Sunday. A memorial service will be conducted 11 a.m. Saturday at Living Faith Church, 3338 Corbett Avenue, Elm City of which he was a member. The Rev. Eric D. Vernelson will officiate. The family will receive friends immediately following the service. Mr. Parnell served his country honorably in WWII as a B-29 Flight Engineer, achieving the rank of Second Lieutenant. An accomplished musician and dedicated horn instructor, James earned his Bachelor of Music degree from Cleveland Institute of Music and his Master of Music from Florida State University. He then taught at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kan. prior to becoming Vanderbilt University's first full-time band instructor. In 1956 he moved to Greenville, N.C., serving as a Professor of Music for 31 years at East Carolina University until his retirement. In 1946 James married his sweetheart, Ann Schewe, who preceded him death in 2005. He is survived by four children; Patricia Parnell Hawkins of Stockton, Calif.; Cynthia Parnell Richardson of Raleigh; Jeffrey Harris Parnell and wife, Carron of Erie, Pa.; and John Alan Parnell and wife, Denise of Florence, S.C.; 12 grandchildren, Gina Loricchio and husband, Jim; Mia Allen and husband, Britt; Chad Richardson and wife, Emily; Corey Richardson and wife, Jenny; Kurt Hawkins; Derek Hawkins; Brett Hawkins; and wife, Dawn, Adam Hawkins; Marc Parnell; Alexis Parnell; Alan Parnell; and Emily Parnell; and nine great-grandchildren. He was also preceded in death by his son, Richard Parnell, who served in Vietnam; his parents, James and Floy Parnell and two sisters, Elizabeth and Martha. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Living Faith Church, PO Box 7242, Wilson, NC 27895. Condolences may be directed to www.joyners.net.
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Joyners Funeral Home
4100 Raleigh Rd Parkway Wilson, NC 27896
Published in the Erie Times-News on Nov. 8, 2012