Richard O. “Bud” Parnell passed away surrounded by his family on Monday, September 25, 2023 at the age of 66. If there was an award for biggest heart, he would have gotten it. Circumstances in his teenaged years left him feeling like an outsider and so moulded his burgeoning personality to be inclusive of all, “You never know what other people are going through,” was his mantra. Therefore, he never wanted anyone to feel alone or left out. He was an extravagantly big tipper for the same reasons. He sought to take care of people the same way people in his life had stepped up and taken care of him. His sister, Diane and brother-in-law, Jim, took him in as a teenager when his mother was unable to care for him. Similarly, his Pineville High School friends and their parents offered food and a place to sleep and helped pay his way if he didn’t have the means. After moving to Baton Rouge, his friend and mentor Dick Fagan, along with Dick's wife Diane, played a huge roll in Bud's life as a young adult- more like a father than any Bud had ever known. Dick took Bud under his wing and gave him the tools to be successful and Bud was an avid student. Once given the boost he needed, Bud became successful in his own right. He could build a house from the ground up, do the electrical and plumbing work and he could also decorate it. Bud met friends for life when he found Christ in his early twenties. In his mid-twenties, he met and married Jeanne Foley, and together they had four sons, Justin, Jordan, Jonathan and Jason. He taught them how to hunt and fish. Bud also coached their baseball teams, and encouraged them to play football, a game he himself still loved to play at that time.
He went to their games and swim meets and took them to their hunting camp and taught them to wrestle (4 on 1). Bud was a hard worker, sometimes working three jobs at a time to support his family, a work ethic he passed on to his sons.
Bud joined Ancient Athletes and said that it put him on the map. Not only was he a great athlete, but this club introduced him to life-long friends and to Baton Rouge society in general. The connections he made through this club were a huge contribution to his success in the insurance industry. Against all odds, he had made it.
In his 40's he met and married Lydia Lemoine and they spent 25 happy years together as best friends. Together, they enjoyed being members of Bocage Racquet Club, built a fishing camp in Dulac, raised many furry “children” and renovated every square inch of their home. He had a penchant for decorating with one primary guiding principle- “Go big or go home.” His cooking skills were unmatched until his boys grew up and surpassed his talents in the kitchen or on the grill where many cooking competitions ensued over the years.
Bud's charismatic personality drew people to him. He made brother-like friends in high school, as a young Christian man, a coach, an athlete, a racquet breaker, a co-worker, a businessman, and a family man. He was the epitome of a self-made man but only because of the grace of Our Father and Jesus, our Lord and Savior to whom he gave great thanks daily for all the blessings given to him.
Bud is survived by his wife, Lydia, sons Justin (Tricia), Jordan (Kendall), Jonathan, and Jason (Mia). He is also survived by his first wife Jeanne David (Dan), and 7 grandchildren Blake, Kellen, Mason, Madelyn, Sutton, Manning, and Jack, and numerous nieces and nephews, including Jacqueline Collins Chappell. He was preceded in death by his mother, June Osborn Parnell and his beloved sister Dianne Parnell Collins (Edward Hamrick.)
People were naturally drawn to his magnetic personality, and he is already missed beyond measure. It's All Good, may you rest in peace.
Visitation will be held at Christ Covenant Church, 1700 Lee Dr, Baton Rouge, LA 70808 on Friday, September 29, 2023 from 9:00 a.m. until Memorial Service at 11:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Hospice of Baton Rouge.
Family and friends may sign the online guestbook or leave a personal note to the family at www.resthavenbatonrouge.com.