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Selma dentist is man of faith, integrity and generosity

The Smithfield-Selma Chamber gave a Distinguished Citizen Award to Selma Dentist Dr. Dicky Parrish at its annual meeting in January. While being recognized in the past by the Chamber, he continues to give of his time and resources in his local community. The award also is sponsored by Woody’s Computing Service.

These comments were submitted to the Chamber by his friend Tony Lester.

“Our honoree has been a valuable friend and mentor since meeting him in 1995 when my family and I moved to Johnston County. He exemplifies the definition of a Distinguised Citizen. He is a man of faith, integrity and generosity. He has been a tireless giver of his energy and efforts to make the Town of Selma a better place. In addition to operating a successful dental practice in town for 37 years, he has also made significant contributions to his church, local schools, civic organizations, as well as numerous other boards and committees.  

The following examples are just a few of his many contributions:

He has been a member of Selma Baptist Church where he was ordained as a Deacon in 1978 and has served on many committees including the Stewardship committee, the church trustee board, and was chairman on the steering committee for the construction of the new Selma Baptist Church sanctuary.  He went on his first mission trip in 1980 to the West Indies where he helped setup and run free dental clinics for people who did not have access to health care and is now active with the Local Missions Committee.  He assisted in planning, funding, and preparing the first Selma Community Wide Thanksgiving Meal this past November. You probably now know that our Distinguished Citizen is Dr. Dicky Parrish.

Dr. Dicky was elected to the Johnston County Board of Education in 1986 and became Chairman of the Board in 1989.  He first served on the Selma Elementary Parent Advisory Council in 1979 and is currently the Chairman of the Selma Elementary Parent Advisory Council where his grandson attends school.  He provides many services to Selma Elementary students in need including the Back Pack Buddies program and just this year, helped start the Back Pack Buddies program at Selma Middle School.  He also initiated a special program to ensure students who forget their lunch money still get to eat each day.  Dr. Dicky heads up the Back to School luncheon for the Selma Elementary teachers each school year and volunteers as a mentor for the Selma Elementary Lunch Buddies program.  He sponsors many programs including the Battle of the Books team to foster a passion for reading and a love for learning in all students.

He has been involved with many local organizations including the Partnership for Children, the Johnston County 4-H program, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and the Selma unit of the Boys and Girls Club of Johnston County.  He has been a dedicated member of the Selma Lions Club for more than 35 years serving in many offices including President for multiple terms.  Dr. Dicky also served as President of the Johnston County Chapter of the American Cancer Society in 1980 and served several years on the Johnston County Nursing Home / Adult Care Home Advisory Board.  He has been a member of the BB&T Board of Directors. He was honored by the Smithfield-Selma Chamber of Commerce as Citizen of the Year in 1987 and its Small Business Person of the Year in 2011.

Dr. Dicky Parrish was born and raised in the Northern part of Johnston County where he attended Micro School and graduated from North Johnston High School in 1968.  He completed undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and graduated from the UNC School of Dentistry in 1976 and was chosen for the Academy of General Dentistry award from the graduating class and later honored in Pine Hurst by the Academy of General Dentistry.  He served as Director of the UNC General Alumni Association in the early 1990’s and served as President of the UNC Dental Alumni Association from 1993 to 1994. 

Our honoree is married to his wife, Kathy, and they have two daughters. Please join the Chamber in congratulating Dr. Dicky Parrish.

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