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Friends remember Terrell couple killed in Arizona plane crash

Friends remember Terrell couple killed in Arizona plane crash James and Lisa Parrish are pictured far left. Vicki Furstenberg and her husband are pictured far right.
Only days after a private plane crash in northern Arizona took the lives of a Terrell couple, a close family friend and neighbor spoke about James and Lisa Parrish's passion for airplanes and guns.
James Parrish, 57, and his wife Lisa Parrish, 54, of Terrell, Texas, were both killed in a plane crash on October 4, 2013, along with Michael Hughes, 65, and his wife Joy Hughes, 63.

James' passion for flying led him and his wife to purchase property and later build a home at the Airpark East Airport located at SH 205 and FM 548 in Terrell, Texas, only minutes north of Forney, Texas. Nearly ten years ago after building their home less than 100 feet from the airpark's runway, James was given the opportunity to purchase the airpark, and he didn't hesitate.

Not only did James Parrish own and operate the Airpark East Airport, he was also a certified private pilot with ratings in single and multi-engine land aircraft and was also instrument rated. James also recently completed his rotorcraft helicopter rating earlier this summer.

“I have been in the plane with Jim [James was known as Jim to close friends and family] many times and he is a very thorough, responsible, and excellent pilot,” family friend and neighbor Vicki Furstenberg told “Everybody still can't believe this has happened.”

According to Furstenberg, James and Lisa moved to the airpark nearly ten years ago because of his love for flying. “He flew his plane a lot for business and vacations with Lisa,” said Furstenberg.

James' “normal life” included founding Charter Associates, a project management company, in 1986. According to the company's website, James graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. Before founding Charter Associates, James worked for Trammel Crow Company.

After learning of the death of James and Lisa, Charter Associates wrote this statement on their website, “It is with great sadness and a profound sense of personal loss we inform you of the passing of our dear friends, Jim and Lisa Parrish … We at Charter Associates, Inc., the Tenant Services and Project Management firm Jim founded in 1986 wish to express our heartfelt gratitude for your continued support.”

Not only was James well-respected in the flying community, he was also well respected in the gun and shooting community. James and Lisa were frequent visitors of the Terrell Rifle and Pistol Club gun range in Terrell, Texas. “Jim and Lisa Parrish were active club members. Jim is the person who provided the tractor and operator to work on our 25 yard range when we put the divider in. We will surely miss them,” read a statement on the Terrell Rifle and Pistol Club's website.

In the past, the Parrishes visited the Gunsite Academy in Paulden, Arizona, 16 times before their plane crashed near the shooting range on October 4, 2013.

Lisa Parrish was involved in the Rockwall Meals on Wheels program and also helped with the launch of the Rockwall Pet Food Program. James and Lisa did not have any children but did have two Great Danes. “They considered their two Great Danes to be children,” said Furstenberg. “This is what inspired Lisa to get involved with the pet food program.”

James and Lisa helped Vicki through a very tough time in her life recently with the loss of her husband, James Furstenberg, just 10 months ago. “If it wasn't for Jim, I probably would've crawled under a rock, I am forever grateful,” she said.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, October 21, 2013, at First Baptist Church in Rockwall, Texas, in the ML Jones Chapel. The church is located at 610 Goliad Street, Rockwall, Texas. Reverend Ronnie Yarbrough and Reverend Vince Willis will be officiating.  Memorial contributions may be made to Meals on Wheels, Senior Services of Rockwall County, 950 Williams St, Bldg C, Ste. 200, Rockwall, TX 75087 ( or The Mercy House, PO Box 236, Colleyville, TX 76034.
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