Cover photo for Bradley William Parlin's Obituary
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Bradley William Parlin

April 22, 1938 — April 25, 2024

St. George

Bradley William Parlin

Dr. Bradley W. Parlin (86) died of cancer peacefully at his St. George home on April 25, 2024. He is survived by his wife and companion of 46 years, Dr. Mary Ann Parlin, as well as his children, Zachary Parlin (Cheryl) Mountain Home Idaho, his daughter Rebecca Hodges (Alan) Smithfield, Utah, his 4 grandchildren Haley Parlin, Nicole Payne, Jacob Hodges, Tyson Hodges, and his 5 great-grandchildren Artoria Gardner, Vivian Gardner, Maylee Payne, Remy Payne, and Georgia Belle Hodges. 

Dr. Parlin grew up in the small town of Colfax, Washington, but could not leave fast enough. While attending Colfax High School, he lettered in boxing and was district champion at 134 pounds. As a teenager, he and a friend were also known to joyride in small aircraft, and on one memorable occasion narrowly avoided hitting a combine while pretending to be crop-dusters. 

After escaping Colfax, Brad remained a thrill seeker for the rest of his life, joining the army and serving with the 101 Airborne Division, the famous “Screaming Eagles.” Following his military service, he became a stunt man for Cole Brothers Air Show and appeared on ABC Wide World of Sports. A Popular Mechanics article from 1962 described his stunts involving leaping from airplanes and noted that his trick of transferring from a speeding convertible to a plane via rope ladder was “considerably trickier than it sounds.” 

When not jumping from airplanes, Dr. Parlin earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Indiana University, as well as a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Illinois. He accepted professorships, first at the Fort Wayne campus of Indiana and Purdue universities and next at Utah State University, where he was promoted to Full Professor and retired emeritus professor after a 40-year career. He was an outstanding teacher and won various awards at Utah State University for his excellence in teaching. Professor Parlin was popular with students with his introduction to the sociology course attracting one of the largest enrollments at the University. After his retirement, Professor Parlin was recruited back to teach graduate students how to successfully teach sociology. He authored and co-authored numerous articles and books in his field of sociology. Additionally, Professor Parlin was a consultant for two decades with the Agency for International Development (USAID) working primarily in India. 

But even as a professor, Brad remained a committed adrenaline junkie. With his wife Mary Ann, he traveled to the Caribbean and South Pacific to scuba dive, and with lifelong friends he skied the backcountry in New Zealand and Chile (as well as Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho). Combining his love of teaching with his passion for adventure, Brad taught his children and grandchildren to ski as well as his friends and his friends’ children. Brad was also a passionate gardener, whose long-time home in Logan, Utah was surrounded by a beautiful garden that reflected the decades of love he and his wife put into it. 

Brad was a committed outdoorsman as well as an avid and expert fly fisherman. He loved to take family and friends to Wiggins Fork, an isolated stream high in the backcountry of Wyoming. He and his friends would camp and fish there for a week without seeing another person. He named his favorite campsite Coyote Camp after a pack of coyotes ran through the camp early one morning while he and Mary Ann were having breakfast. Brad would lead day-long hikes wading the stream and catching large cutthroat trout with yellow bellies. Most were gently released while a few were cooked over an open fire for dinner. While fishing he would pick up colorful pieces of petrified wood and after years and years had a spectacular rock garden at his home. He also marveled at the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain peaks reaching elevations of nearly 14,000 feet and could name all of them. 

He will be greatly missed by family and friends, who will think of him when they see fresh powder, small aircraft, and spectacular vistas.

Arrangements are made under the direction of Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S. Bluff Street, St. George, Utah. 435-673-2454.

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