Obituary Listings

John A. Parham, Sr.

July 4, 1931 February 7, 2018
John A. Parham, Sr.
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Obituary for John A. Parham, Sr.

MEBANE: John A. Parham, Sr., 86, passed away on Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at Peak Resources of Alamance in Graham. He was born in Oxford to the late Maxie Carl Parham and Lella Overton Parham. John graduated from Oxford High School in 1949 and was the Vice President of his senior class. He also served as the sports editor of his high school newspaper his junior and senior years.

After graduation, John served in the US Army and was with the 3rd armored division stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

After his discharge, he moved to Durham and married his sweetheart, Frances Ballenger Parham (Janet) on July 1, 1955. They were married for over 62 years.

John began his professional career as a draftsman and inspector with MA Ham Company in Durham. John later joined the City of Durham on March 15, 1959 as a Building Inspector. He was appointed Chief Building Inspector in October, 1963. While working for the City, John was an active member of the NC Building Inspectors Association and was elected to the board of directors of that organization in June 1963. He later went on to become President of the Building Inspectors Association in June of 1965 and was re-elected as President again in 1966. This was the first time the NCBIA had a president to serve two terms.

During the 1970’s John was elected to the board of directors for Southern Building Code Congress International (now known as ICC or International Code Council) which was an organization dedicated to providing technical, educational and administrative support to governmental departments and agencies engaged in building code administration and enforcement in the Southeastern US. In addition to being a director, John held offices of President Elect and later served as President of the organization.

John was also an active member in his community. He was a member of the Shawnee District of the Occoneechee Council of the Boy Scouts of America and was a former Scout Master of Troop 440. While in scouting, he received the BSA Silver Beaver award. One of his fondest memories of the Boy Scouts was serving on the National Cook Crew for the 13th Boy Scouts World Jamboree held in Tokyo, Japan, August 1971. Scouting sparked his love for camping which he shared with his family.

John also served for many years donating his time to the Duke Children’s Classic Golf Tournament. He was a returning marshal on the first tee and enjoyed meeting and joking with all celebrities and players he met.

John was also a fixture for many years at the Herald-Sun Golf Classic. John began volunteering for the tournament in the late 1960’s as a member of the Scoreboard Committee. John later became the scoreboard committee chairman and went on to succeed Dante Germino as tournament director. He retired from this role in July of 2007 after serving over 50 years with the golf tournament.

One of John’s biggest loves was refereeing football. He was a football official for over 32 years and was honored to have been chosen to referee the NC High School Athletic Association State Championship Game in 1991 as well as the East-West All Stars Football Game. His love of football carried into the college ranks as the coordinator of the chain crew for Duke University Football games. John later became the clock operator for Duke Football and then moved on to assist with game day football operations. John retired from Duke Football at the age of 83 after the completion of the 2014 season with 60 years of service with Duke Athletics. John requested that the members of the Duke Football Coaching and Office staff be named as his honorary pallbearers.

John and his family were long time members of Watts Street Baptist Church in Durham until their move to Mebane. John was a long time choir member, a former president of the Gideon Bible Class, Deacon, and a former member of several committees.

Mr. Parham is survived by his wife, Janet Parham; daughter Susan Horton and husband Earl, of Greensboro; son, John “Jay” Parham, Jr., and wife Cindy, of Mebane and grandsons Cameron Horton, John Parham, III and Ty Parham.

Memorial service will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, February 15th, 2018 at Watts Street Baptist Church with Rev. Diane Hill and Dr. Ron Cumbee officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in John’s honor to the Duke Football Program (payable to Duke University) and mailed to the Iron Dukes Box 90542 Durham, NC 27708. Please include in honor of John Parham in donations.

The family is being assisted by Clements Funeral Service, Inc., in Durham. Online condolences may be made at

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Memorial Service




11:00 AM 2/15/2018 11:00:00 AM
Watts St. Baptist Church

800 Watts St.
Durham, NC 27701

Watts St. Baptist Church
800 Watts St. Durham 27701 NC
United States

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