Adapted from Nashotah House Theological Seminary, via email:
Bishop Donald James Parsons, 13th dean and president and professor of New Testament at Nashotah House Theological Seminary, died on January 4. He was born on March 28, 1922, in Philadelphia.
He attended Temple University before matriculating at Philadelphia Divinity School, where he earned a ThB, a ThM, and a ThD in New Testament. He was ordained a deacon in 1946 in the Diocese of Pennsylvania, and ordained a priest later that same year in the Diocese of Delaware.
He served as Tutor of Greek and New Testament at Philadelphia Divinity School while also serving as Curate at Church of the Holy Trinity at Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. He subsequently served as assistant rector of Immanuel Episcopal Church in Wilmington, Delaware, and as rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Smyrna, Delaware.
In 1950 he moved to Wisconsin to begin serving at Nashotah House, where he was professor of New Testament and ascetical theology. His tenure as dean and president ran from 1963 to 1973.
He was elected as Bishop of Quincy and was consecrated on Sept. 8, 1973. He served as bishop until his retirement in 1987, and thereafter continued to provide episcopal oversight for a number of congregations. He was the author of The Holy Eucharist, Rite Two: A Devotional Commentary (1976) and A Lifetime Road to God (1977).
In 1955 he married Mary Russell, who preceded him in death. He is survived by his three children, Mary, Rebecca, and Brad.
St. Paul’s Church of Pekin, Illinois, will host a Requiem Mass at 3 p.m. Saturday, January 9. Visitation will be from 1 to 3 p.m.
Nashotah House will celebrate the life and ministry of Bishop Parsons with a Requiem Mass in the Chapel of St. Mary the Virgin at 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14, followed by a committal service at Nashotah House’s cemetery.
The Rt. Rev. Daniel H. Martins, 11th Bishop of Springfield and board chairman of Nashotah House, will preside; the Very Rev. Steven A. Peay, 20th dean and president of Nashotah House, will celebrate; the Rt. Rev. Keith L. Ackerman, Bishop Vicar of Quincy of the Anglican Church in North America and a Nashotah House board member, will preach. A reception will immediately follow in Breck Refectory, located in DeKoven Commons.
The family asks that memorial gifts be dedicated to the Bishop Parsons Scholarship Fund at Nashotah House Theological Seminary, 2777 Mission Road, Nashotah, WI 53058, or on Nashotah’s website.