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Memories of a Lifetime of Love



Coach Ralph Parsons

January 21, 1931 ~ August 10, 2018 (age 87)


Coach Ralph Parsons, age 87, of Vidalia, died Friday, August 10, 2018, at his home, after an extended illness.  He was a native of Keokee, Virginia, later moved to Yancey, Kentucky, and was a 1946 graduate of Hall High School in Yancey.  He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War Era.  He attended Eastern Kentucky State in Richmond, Kentucky, now Eastern Kentucky University for one year and transferred to Georgia Teacher’s College, now Georgia Southern University, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education in 1952.  While attending Georgia Southern, he played baseball and basketball, and in 1993, was inducted into the Georgia Southern University Athletic Hall of Fame.  Later, Coach Parsons returned to Eastern Kentucky University, where he earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration.  Coach Parsons and his late wife moved to Vidalia in 1954 and began and completed his forty-three year career as a teacher, coach, and administrator at Vidalia High School.  He coached boys’ and girls’ basketball, baseball, football, and golf.  He served as Athletic Director for many years, served as Region Secretary, and an officer in the Georgia Athletic Coaching Association.  He was a member of the Georgia Retired Teachers Association, Professional Association of Georgia Educators, and the Vidalia Lions Club.  He was a member and Deacon of the First Baptist Church of Vidalia, where he taught Sunday school for more than fifty years.  He was preceded in death by his wife of sixty-three years, Betty Reagan Parsons; parents, Roy and Grace Legg Parsons; one sister, Gaynell Parsons; and three brothers, Gordon, Roger and Fred Parsons.

Coach Parsons is survived by one son, Hal R. Parsons, Jr. and wife Beth; Beth’s parents, Dr. Bill Copeland and Sue Copeland; two grandsons, Harold R. “Tripp” Parsons, III and William Bryce Parsons, all of Savannah; four siblings, Inez York of Detroit, Michigan, Dick Parsons and wife Celia of Harrodburg, Kentucky; Dennis Parsons of Savannah, and Myra Kunuth of Big Flats, New York; one sister-in-law, Mary Wasden of Millen; several nieces and nephews, including two special nieces, Judy McAlhany and Patsy Kitchens; and caregivers Calvin Mosley and Garland Smith.

The funeral service will be held Monday, August 13th at 4:00 p.m. in the H. Ralph Parsons Gymnasium on the campus of Vidalia High School with Reverend Don Moye officiating.  Burial will follow in Lakeview Memorial Gardens. 

The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Sunday from 5:00 until 8:00.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Community Hospice Foundation, P.O. Box 2277, Vidalia GA 30475.

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