Vernon L. Parish (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 livebearing 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 livebearers. 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 Livebearer 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.