Monte Merryman Parrish died Monday, January 1, 2018 at his home in Ames, Iowa. He was 74. He served his country on the battlefields of Vietnam and after military retirement, he successfully owned and operated several hotel properties. He lived in Ames with his wife Tana.
Monte was the oldest of six children. He was born October 17, 1943 in Great Bend, Kansas, the first son of Maj. Gen. Clemont C. Parrish and Ruth Elizabeth Parrish. He was graduated from Great Bend High School in the spring of 1961. He joined the U.S. Army Reserves and completed basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO. Monte attended junior college in Pratt, Kansas for two semesters before receiving appointment to attend West Point Military Academy. He received two congressional appointments, one from U.S. Senator Frank Carlson and another from U.S Congressman Floyd Breeding. He reported for duty to West Point on July 1, 1963.
Cadet Parrish was graduated from West Point in June of 1967 with a bachelor of science degree in engineering and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. After graduation, he continued his training at the Army Airborne School and the Army Ranger Indoctrination Program at Ft. Benning, GA.
In December 1967, he and Pat Tupacz were married at West Point’s Holy Trinity Chapel. Later they divorced. In May of 1968, he was deployed to Vietnam where he served as a Fire Support Officer (forward observer). He returned to Ft. Sill, OK in May of 1969 and was promoted to the rank of 1st Lieutenant. On August 28, 1970, he was blessed with the birth of his daughter Jamie Kathleen. A few weeks later, in September of 1970, he was redeployed to Vietnam for a second tour. He returned in September of 1971 and was stationed at Ft. Benning, GA.
After two tours in Vietnam, he was promoted to the rank of Captain in 1972 and was blessed again with the birth of his son, Michael Patrick.
Monte was stationed at Ft. Ord, CA and was one of 12 non-Navy students (out of hundreds who applied) to receive a prestigious appointment to study at the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, CA. There he earned a master’s degree in operational analysis in 1974. He put this scholarly achievement to work when he transferred back to the Ft. Sill artillery school as an instructor and was promoted to the rank of major. One of his works was published in the September edition of the Field Artillery Journal in 1976 entitled The Battle of Aachen.
Maj. Parrish retired from the active military service in 1977. He joined the Gulf Oil Corporation and worked first in Boston, MA and later in Pittsburgh, PA. Later he joined a smaller oil company in southern California before joining Seven Seas real estate brokerage and investment company and began investing in real estate and hotel properties in California and other states.
On December 29, 1991, Monte and Tana married in Ames where the two made their home. Monte had purchased the University Inn hotel which he owned and operated for several years. He later developed, owned and operated a Microtel hotel in Ames, and after the sale of the University Inn to a shopping-center developer, he purchased another hotel and transferred to it the name, University Inn. After the purchase and sale of these hotel properties, he purchased a bed and breakfast known as the Iowa House. He and Tana moved to this property, and he was operating it successfully until his death on January 1.
Monte outpaced his peers in every mission he undertook. He was a brilliant student, so much so that attending class in high school often seemed a nuisance. He breezed through his education with little effort leaving little doubt among his siblings that he was the smartest of the six Parrish children.
While his military service was exemplary, Monte’s passion was to be successful in business. He retired from Military service in 1977, and while the impact of the war took its toll, he held fast to his commitment to succeed, fueled by his work ethic and determination. He was a thought master — a no-nonsense, problem solver with an iconoclastic tendency to do things his way.
Monte’s survivors include his wife Tana of 26 years, her son Dr. David Sosnouski (Jessica) and their three children, all of Ames, IA. He is survived by his daughter Jamie Kathleen Lomber (Jeff) and their children, Ryan Elizabeth and John Henry of Tigard, OR; his son Michael Parrish (Tirsa) and their son Jaden of Los Gatos, CA; two sisters: Claire Parrish (Sue) of East Garrison, CA and Annie Tharp (Bruce) of Los Angeles, CA.; three brothers: Jim Parrish (Nancy) of Topeka, KS, Victor Parrish of San Francisco, CA, and John Parrish of Parsons, KS; his step-mother, Ellen Parrish of Pratt, KS and many wonderful nieces and nephews who loved and respected their Uncle Monte.
A memorial service was planned for Friday, January 19, 2018 at Grandon Funeral and Cremation Care, 414 Lincoln Way, Ames, Iowa 50010. The service begins at 3:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital in care of the funeral home. To leave the family a message online, please visit www.grandonfuneralandcremationcare.com.