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Preston Seiter "Pete" Parish

Obituary for Preston Seiter "Pete" Parish

November 10, 1919 - July 1, 2020
Hickory Corners, Michigan | Age 100


Preston (Pete) Seiter Parish of Hickory Corners, MI

Pete passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. He was born in Chicago, Illinois November 10, 1919 to parents, Preston and Louise Seiter Parish. Pete's childhood was divided between living in Illinois and schools in New York State.

In 1937, he enrolled at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and graduated in 1941. The week after graduation Pete reported to the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia, for training, and then served in the Marines during World War IIin the Pacific Campaign until return to the United States in 1944. He received his discharge as a Major from the Marines in 1946. In 1948, Pete married Suzanne Upjohn Delano.

They lived at Gull Lake and had five children who survive him: Barbara (Gary), Katharine, Peter William (Julie), Preston (Bess) and David (Katie). Surviving are also 13 grandchildren: Jamie, Christopher, Sarah, Carol, David, Preston, Laura, Billie, Joshua, Rebecca, Corinna, Nathaniel, and Samuel; and 13 great-grandchildren: Mahleywa, Asa, Zekarii, Zane, Grace, Bram, Sage, Oliver Kai, Louis, Axel, Mahana, Ronan and Tucker. His loving wife, Barbara, after 28 years of
marriage also survives, as does his brother, Philip (Jeannette) and nephews, Theodore (Mimi) and Andrew (Christine).

Pete had a distinguished career for 35 years at The Upjohn Company, beginning in October, 1949, retiring as Vice Chairman in 1984. He was elected as a Director of the Company in 1955 and served until retiring in 1991.

Pete was also a wonderful community leader and benefactor. He well understood the necessary connection between a prosperous community and a healthy business environment. As a result, he volunteered, offering leadership, and serving many non-for-profit community and educational organizations. At the time of his death heremained trustee emeritus at Williams College, W.E. Upjohn Institute, Kalamazoo Air Zoo and Kalamazoo College. Of course, aviation played a prominent role in Pete's life. He loved flying, and that love led toacquisition of Kal-Aero and co-founding the Kalamazoo Air Zoo.

The Graveside Service to celebrate Pete's life will be held in Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta, MI with the United States Marine Corps Honor Guard
and the Fort Custer Honor Guard bestowing full military honors. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be directed in memory of Preston S. Parish to Endowment Funds at Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts; the Kalamazoo Air Zoo; or Kalamazoo College. The Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation
Care, Richland Chapel (269-629-6022) is assisting Pete's family.

Suggested Memorial Donations

  • Williams College
    880 Main Street
    Williamstown, MA 01267
  • Kalamazoo Air Zoo
    6151 Portage Road
    Portage, MI 49002
  • Kalamazoo College
    1200 Academy Street
    Kalamazoo, MI 49006

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