Dave Parry confided in me that he had Parkinson's a few months ago. That seemingly would make me a trusted friend except that's how Dave was with everyone.
He loved to talk, about officiating, about football, about you. It didn't matter. To him Parkinson's was not a deal breaker. Sure, it had caused him to step down as NCAA's national coordinator of officiating. Before that, he had been the respected Big Ten supervisor of officials. But even in his retirement, I had looked forward to speaking to him soon about officiating issues.
That won't happen after Parry died Monday due to complications from Parkinson's. At 76, he was taken from us much too soon. A lot of folks lost a dear friend, but football fans also lost a lot of knowledge. With the Big Ten, Parry was on the cutting edge of implementing instant replay a few years ago. His knowledge of the rules was Google-like. He was a college official for 20 years, an NFL official for 16 years.
According to this story, Parry got his start in officiating to earn pocket money. That turned into a lifelong passion. As a coordinator/supervisor Dave was unfailingly honest to the point of sometimes questioning officials themselves.
The best thing that can be said about Dave was that he was one of those guys who was friends with everybody. I loved talking to him because I realized I loved Dave. Here is the story that resulted from one of the last times we spoke.
Here is his obit.
Rest in peace, my friend. We will miss you.