Dr. Herbert A. Parris, M.D., passed peacefully into the arms of the Lord on Sunday, March 28, 2021.
Dr. Parris was born December 12, 1930 in Port of Spain, Trinidad (Belmont area) to Hubert and lsadora (Turpin) Parris. His dad was a tailor and his mother a homemaker. He was one of eleven (11) children. His siblings consisted of Sheila, Ashton, Wilma, Claudette, Joan, Jeannette, Ronald, Roderick, Raymond, and Keith. Herbert was nicknamed “Sonny” since he was the first born male child. He is still called by that name by family and close friends.
Herbert was educated at St. Margaret's (Anglican) Grade School and Tranquility High School in Port of Spain. He went on to teacher's college, also in POS. He taught 5th grade for approximately 1 year before being sent by the Trinidad Government to attend the Fire Academy in England in 1951. He was a volunteer fireman (#195) before his additional education.
At the Fire Academy, he gained academic education as well as application skills in fire management. He brought this field of knowledge back to Trinidad in 1953 as Chief Training Officer (#167). He established the on-going education of young recruits as well as assisting in planning of fire policies, building a fire base ('i.e. Piarco Airport), and worked to improve rapid response as well as teaching CPR. He loved being a teacher and most loved being a fireman. He carried this deep affection, respect and admiration for firemen throughout his life not only in Trinidad, but for firemen throughout the world.
He returned to England in 1961/ 1962 to proceed with an education in medicine. He started his pre med studies in England, but completed his medical school studies at Howard University School of Medicine, Washington, DC graduating in 1968.
He started his internship at Youngstown Hospital in Ohio with also a rotation at Presbyterian Hospital (now UPMC) in Pittsburgh in Rheumatology. During his time in England, he married Claudette Lemesy, who he met in Trinidad and they were happily married for more than 40 years. They made many friends wherever they traveled. They had no children, but each member of their family plus their friends were the riches of their lives.
He and Claudette lived in Pittsburgh (1973 -1976) for a short time when he proceeded on with a fellowship in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at St. Francis Hospital in Lawrenceville (Pittsburgh) under the mentorship/direction of Dr. Novak. He returned to Youngstown Hospital in 1976 and worked at Youngstown Hospital (South) Rehabilitation Department, and at Youngstown (North) and Hillside Hospital in Warren, OH. He also started his private practice on Wick Avenue as a Physiatrist (PM & R) and Rheumatologist.
He was active in the medical community of Youngstown and developed many professional relationships. He also worked with the Tod Home for Children and EasterSeals. His home turf in the U. S. was always Youngstown, Ohio. He traveled back and forth from Youngstown to Trinidad throughout the years starting in 1976, both for vacation, (and to visit family and friends) as well as working at POS General Hospital and in private practice. His final PM & R days, prior to his retirement in 2008, were at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Youngstown, and Hillside in Warren, Ohio.
After the death of his wife, Claudette in 2002, he re-met a nursing friend (from his Pittsburgh rotation), Geraldine Guman. Their relationship led to marriage in August, 2006. He moved to Pittsburgh after his retirement in 2008 until his death. He and Geri lived happily and continued to travel not only to Trinidad, but also to Europe, other Carribean lslands, Canada, as well as in the U.S. He always found time to spend with family and friends. He loved being a physician and working with his colleagues and PT staff. He was always known for his kindness and patience to his patients and willingness to share a good laugh. He had a deep affection for his favorite dog, Mandy, a german shepherd who he said “always smiled at him”. Herbert's life was a rich tapestry starting with his family, his wives and friends.
Besides his parents and first wife, he was preceded in death by his siblings: Sheila (Horace) Burgess, Ashton (Jean) Parris, Wilma (Valerie) Stanley, Joan (Edgar) Rodrigues, Roderick Parris, Ronald (Virginia) Parris, and Raymond (Ann Marie) Parris.
He will be loved, remembered and missed by all. In addition to his wife, Geri, who he loved, he is survived by two sisters, Claudette Cooke and Jeannette (Russell) Mitchell; a brother, Keith (Kathleen) Parris; and other Parris and Guman family members as well as many nieces, nephews and friends.
A visitation walk through will be held on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 from 1:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at the L. E. Black, Phillips and Holden Funeral Home. On Wednesday, April 7, 2021 visitation will be from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. with private funeral services for family only beginning at 11:15 a.m. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests charitable donations to Guiding Eyes for the Blind, PAWS for Purple Hearts, Alzheimers Research, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Shriners Hospital, Light of Life Rescue Mission in Youngstown, and Easter Seals or to your favorite charity.
Due to the pandemic, all guests are asked to please wear masks and observe social distancing. For the health and safety of everyone, we ask that guests do not linger at the funeral home after viewing. A Service of Love and Dignity entrusted to the L. E. Black, Phillips & Holden Funeral Home.
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