Vern Parrish (1917 – 1996)
Vern was born and raised in the Indianapolis, Indiana area. Vern spent his lifetime in the care, propagation, education, maintenance and preservation of aquarium fish. He held an extra special interest in live-bearing fish. As his wife Jean commented at their Golden Wedding Anniversary, Vern had fish when they first met and when they married “the fish came along with the man”. He retired after 39 years of employment at Allison aircraft engines, and he and Jean also ran a commercial fish store for a brief period of time. Vern and Jean have three sons, eight grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren. Vern’s interests included all fish, but he specialized in the live-bearers. He was very active and very well known in the aquarium hobby both at the local and national level. Vern earned several awards from the Indianapolis Aquarium Society including special recognition with a well deserved Lifetime Achievement Award. He was very strong believer in Species Maintenance and was the main force behind the inception of the SMP for the American Live-bearer Association, and he ran this program for several years. Vern was inducted as a Fellow of the ALA in 1987. Besides fish, Vern’s other interests included nature, plants, and gardening. He spent a significant amount of time as a volunteer at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Indianapolis. Vern is remembered as a kind, gentle, generous man who always had time to talk about nature with everyone regardless of their level of experience or knowledge. According to Jean, Vern’s most exciting times were his three trips to South America, where he enjoyed all fish, animals, and plants. He truly loved all God’s earth and studied all he could about it. It was always a special treat to visit Vern and Jean. Their beautifully landscaped yard was always in top condition, a break for lunch was common, and Vern usually had at least one free bag of fish from his unique fish house and/or something from his greenhouse for you to take home.
Evelyn Padgett (1922 – 2009
Evelyn was a fixture at our club for many years. Wherever Hedy went, you could be sure to see Evelyn right there with her. She spent a lot of time helping with the membership program and monthly meeting preparation. She was especially well know for always being available to give out nutritional advice (albeit unsolicited!) to anyone and everyone. Evelyn was a great lady and we miss her dearly.
Don Blankenship (1938 – 2012)
“Dollar Don” Blankenship was a great friend to anyone with fish and a long time member of the CCAC. You could always find him checking out the bowl show entries or perusing the auction table at the meeting. Unfortunately the last few years of his life, Don’s health did not allow him to maintain any tanks, and it was obvious how much he missed it because even when he had no tanks he continued to come to meetings until he was no longer able. Don managed to make it to one last meeting the spring of 2012 before he left us, and I am glad I got to see him again before the end.