Born Feb. 4, 1912, in Trenton, NJ, he was a son of the late George and Maude Worthington Parsons. He graduated from Trenton High School. Upon graduation, he matriculated to Penn State University in 1931, studying commerce and finance, but as a sophomore changing his major to theology. He played football for Penn State for two years as an end. Bill graduated from Penn State in 1934, in the midst of the depression, and obtained work for a year as a wire cutters’ assistant at Standard Wire in Trenton.
In 1935, Bill entered Princeton Theological Seminary where he studied for the ministry, graduating in 1937. During his studies, he moved to the Honesdale area in northern Pennsylvania, where he student pastored four rural churches. Having graduated from Princeton, he was called to pastor the Presbyterian Church in Wyalusing, including Sugar Run and Lime Hill. It was at that time that he met his future wife, Jane Reynolds, at her parents’ Sugar Run home. Jane and Bill were married on May 21, 1938; she predeceased him on June 6, 2009. Bill pastored the Wyalusing Presbyterian Church until 1943 and then moved to the Kingston Presbyterian Church for eight years. His last pastoral assignment was in Lewistown, for 12 years. In 1965, he became the Executive Presbyter of the Erie Presbytery in North West, PA until he retired from that position in 1977.
Bill and Jane loved to camp and travel during vacations with their young family, having camped across the USA and Canada. They continued camping well into their retirement years. Following their retirement in 1978, they moved to the Reynolds’ family home in Sugar Run, at which time he was named Pastor Emeritus at the Wyalusing Presbyterian Church. They spent two years teaching English in Kanazawa, Japan. Bill and Jane also visited New Zealand four times and on two occasions lived and pastored churches there, on both the north and south islands. They also spent time in Africa with Scottish friends, Joan and Clarence Musgrave, where they had the opportunity to participate in two safaris. The Parsons continued traveling well into their 80’s to many other parts of the world, including Europe and the Far East. Bill recently celebrated his 100th birthday on Feb. 4, 2012 where he was surrounded by his family and friends.
Surviving are his sons and daughters-in-law, David P. (Diana) Parsons of Allentown, William R. (Susan) Parsons of Toronto, Ontario, John G. (Linda) Parsons of Christiana, Joseph B. (Colette) Parsons of Short Hills, NJ; daughters, Elizabeth Parsons of El Paso, TX, and Ruth Parsons of Sugar Run; nine grandchildren; six greatgrandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at the Wyalusing Presbyterian Church, Church St., Wyalusing, on Saturday, April 21 at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Dr. Barry R. Ballard, pastor, presiding.
Funeral services are under the direction of P. Dean Homer Funeral Home, 1 Grovedale Lane, Wyalusing.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Wyalusing Public Library, PO Box 98, Wyalusing, PA 18853, or the Wyalusing Presbyterian Church, PO Box 25, Wyalusing, PA 18853.
To send condolences or sign the e-guestbook, please go to www.homerfuneralhome.com.