Larry Parrish, who served as Riverside County’s chief executive for 16 years, has died. He was 82 years old.
Parrish retired in 2008 but returned in 2011 as acting county chief executive while the county searched for a new senior official.
Parrish died Wednesday, July 6, at his home in Rancho Mirage, according to Legacy.com, an online obituary database.
Parrish is credited by some former colleagues for leading the county’s transition from a mid-sized agricultural county to an urban county, which is now the fourth largest county in California.
Marion Ashley, a former member of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors who served during Parrish’s tenure, described him as a “great, efficient and passionate organizer.”
“Larry was also passionate in board meetings, he listened to what was going on,” Ashley said. “He never lost it, but he got close a few times.”
Bob Buster, a former county supervisor who also worked with Parrish, said he “had a great sense of humor that focused on the important things in the county and in life.”
In 40 years of public service, Parrish served as probation officer and chief probation officer in Santa Cruz, then administrative manager before moving to Orange County, where he served as general manager.
He took a hiatus from local government in 1989, joining Dennis Carpenter & Associates on its lobbying team. Parrish joined Riverside County in 1992.
“I hope he will be remembered for the tremendous work he did for public service and throughout the county,” Buster said.
He is survived by his daughter, a son, his ex-wife and two grandchildren.
A private service will be held later this year.