Willie James “Boonie” Parham, 77, passed away on March 5, 2021, in Chattanooga.
He was born on January 16, 1944, in Courtland, Al., to the union of Carter Lacy Parham and Bessie Carter Parham. He attended public school in Courtland and was a graduate of Courtland Colored High School.
James united in holy matrimony with Doris Junell Cato on Jan. 7, 1973. To this union, one daughter was born.
James and Doris made their home in Atlanta for over 30 years where he was employed at the Coca-Cola Bottlers Association before moving back to Chattanooga where he was employed with the Hamilton County Board of Education for 25 years. He retired in 2018.
James served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Aircraft Crewman Badge, Sharpshooter Rifle M-14, Expert M 16 Rifle, Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze stars, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal with 1960 device.
James was a gentle soul, affectionally known as “Pops” or “Daddy Parham”. He was a gadget guru, loved solving puzzles, loved airplanes, and was a supreme photographer. He also loved sweets of any kind, and his beloved dog “Spanky Parham”.
He was preceded in death by his loving parents, one son, four brothers, and one sister.
He leaves to cherish his memory devoted wife of 48 years, Doris Junell Cato Parham; one loving daughter, Courtney N. Parham; a loving son, Vincent Grier; granddaughter, Juwanna Grier; two great grandchildren, Keanna Craddock, and Akeela Grier; five brothers, three sisters, eight sisters-in-law, four brothers-in-law, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, family members, and friends.
Public viewing will be held from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 11, at the funeral home followed by a 2 p.m. graveside service.
Interment will be in Chattanooga National Cemetery.
Arrangements are by John P. Franklin Funeral Home, 1101 Dodds Ave., 423 622-9995.