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Memories & Candles

“We love you Poppop ”
1 of 3 | Posted by: Kiera Wade - Colorado Springs, CO

“Our Dear Roy,We will light candles in our hearts until we meet again....Your Family ”
2 of 3 | Posted by: All Parsons - Philadelphia, PA

“My Dear Roy,Rest in peace...We will meet again. My Love . l965-2018. ”
3 of 3 | Posted by: Blondell Parsons - Pamplico, SC


Roy Raleigh Parsons departed this life on March 7, 2018. Born on May 10, 1943 to the late Roy R. Parsons, Sr. and Dorothy Taylor in Philadelphia, PA, Roy graduated from the famed Overbrook High School, Class of 1960, and later McCarrie Dental School, where he honed the skills he would use as a dental technician for Dr. Eric Shor, who Roy first began working for as an errand boy at age 11. Roy later spent 21 years as an employee of the City of Philadelphia, and in 2005, he co-founded the Catherine A. Jenkins Community Foundation alongside his wife Blondell. Roy was a true Philadelphian, and like the city of his origin, the man affectionately known as “What Not” was known for his love of music. From his days at Sharon Baptist Church—where at age 13 he sang alongside the great Patti LaBelle on the church choir— to his days as a ‘corner boy,’ singing doo wop on Philly corners alongside a who’s who of Philadelphia music greats - Roy was small part of what came to be Philadelphia’s famous sound. Known for his love of oldies and his dances, the Philadelphia slop and the ballroom strand, Roy was the life of any event he attended. Roy loved the Lord. He was baptized as a teenager at the aforesaid Sharon Baptist church, and upon moving to South Carolina he joined the Aimwell Missionary Baptist Church under the stellar Leadership of the Reverend Dr. Curtis Cantey. He loved to discuss religion, and although he could not talk in later years, he thoroughly enjoyed his fellowship with his Aimwell brothers and sisters. In 1965, he met the love of his life, Blondell McNeil-Parsons, MHS, whom he married in 1966. They remained together for 52 years. This union bore three boys: Jerome William, who works for National Park Service for the Federal Government; Marquet Maurice, a Lieutenant for The Philadelphia Sheriff Office; and Akeem Jamal, an attorney licensed by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Upon all of them, Roy and Blondell imparted in them the love of history, black heritage, politics, and education. Roy always encouraged each of them to “chase the rabbit.” Roy leaves behind to rejoice in his home going his wife Blondell; his four sons: Gerald Cherry the oldest, Jerome (Linda) of Wilmington, DE, Mark (Robin), Akeem and his friend Sharron of Philadelphia; his two granddaughters Melisa of Philadelphia, and Kiera Parsons-Wade of Colorado Springs; four great grandsons Nah’jee, Corey, Messiah and Major; and eight brothers and sisters: William, Patricia, Geraldine, Ronald (Cynthia), Alan, Derrick (Alberta), Darlene (Butch), and Sheila; and a host of in-laws cousins, and friends who loves him dearly. He was preceded in home going by his dear sister, the late Barbara Brown.

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