J. R. Parsley Jr. August 07, 1972 – February 12, 2019 Share this obituary Send Flowers View/Sign Guest Book| Send Sympathy Card Jimmy Ray Parsley Jr, most known by the name of J.R., was born in Danville, Indiana on August 7th, 1972. He loved sports as a kid growing up and this is what evoked his competitive instinct. He always strived to be the best whether it be catching a football, striking a baseball player out or pinning a wrestler. He was much smaller than his peers sometimes to his advantage, sometimes to his disadvantage. Regardless, he would do his best to outsmart his competitors whether it be finding a baseball bat that was lighter, a mitt that was broken in longer so he could catch it better, changing a gear to make his engine run faster, finding a unique tire that made his car grip the corner better or riding countless hours to become one with a horse faster. He knew what it took to win, he knew what it took to be the fastest whether it was on a horse or in a race car. He also knew how to lose graciously when he was beaten. He was always there to help others no matter whether or not they were competing against him. His true passion was racing which began when he was five. This is also when and where he met his true love and soul mate Tina Parsley. Her family was involved in racing as well. This was a family sport that took teamwork and love from the entire family each weekend during the Spring and Summer months. It was a very competitive sport, but one that was rewarding that developed a great deal of his character as a child growing up. He won the Quarter Midget Grand National Championship in 1984 in Connecticut and in 1987 in Alabama. In 1984 he did not lose one race, which is unheard of. He got first place in every single race that year. Of all the Championships, the Grand National Championship was the most prestigious for it was not for his Region, it accounted for the entire United States. He raced Quarter Midgets competitively until the age of sixteen. J.R. was very small for his age. He was light and he was short in height. His Grandpa was involved in horse racing and this appealed to him. It was competitive, it was similar to him with finding holes and gaps to pass like racing and he knew if he could figure out how to find speed he would get to the Winner’s Circle just like racing Quarter Midgets. He began training to become a jockey at the age of seventeen. He would ride some of his Grandpa’s horses to make sure it was a good fit for him. He immediately fell in love with the sport. He went to a Jockey Training School shortly after to begin his first profession. It did not take him long to figure out the sport. At Ellis Park, in 1991, he was awarded their Leading Apprentice Jockey of the Year. That same year, he was awarded Leading Jockey of the Year. Needless to say he found the speed just like racing Quarter Midgets. He raced horses until 1994. J.R. would have continued to find success in this sport, but it came to an abrupt end after he was diagnosed with a brain tumor in his pituitary gland. The doctors told his family that he likely had this most of his life and being that this gland controls growth, it was likely the reason God gave him the smaller size and height. When they removed this, he become larger in size like his little brother Jason “Bubba” Parsley. With this new found larger size, being a jockey was no longer a career he could continue to pursue. This was hard for J.R. to deal with physically with his new health problems brought forth from the diagnosis as well as mentally because he always wanted to be in racing. After his recovery was finished and his body began to heal, he got back into racing. In 1996, he began racing Midgets. The smell of the fuel and burnt rubber brought him back to his days as a kid racing Quarter Midgets. This new type of car was four times bigger than a Quarter Midget and was much faster. The Jockey’s Wreath Award was granted to him during this time for the comeback he made with the struggles he dealt with from his diagnosis. He had many racing families and this meant a lot to him that they were still there for him as he faced his next chapter in life. He also received Rookie of the Year at the Speedrome in Indianapolis in 1996 his first year racing in the sport. His health problems still were there and over time, it was hard for him to continue doing this sport after 1998. As he continued through life, he began to realize that physically there were things he simply could not do anymore because of his health. From his first marriage, he did have a son Andrew Parsley. He too was dealt some health problems and had Muscular Dystrophy. Unfortunately, he passed away from this illness on January 10th, 2010. He did find true love though and it was his soul mate that he rekindled with that he met in 1975 while racing quarter midgets. He married Tina Parsley on December, 3rd, 2010. She describes this as her best birthday present in life for their wedding anniversary is on her birthday. The timing was right to help him deal with the loss of Andrew. This new found rekindled love was needed to be given to him during this trying time. Racing would never leave his blood, so he began racing Remote Control Cars and Midgets. This allowed him to keep his competitive edge while not putting as much strain on him physically. He did this as a hobby as a kid when he was ten years old. He found that these cars were more innovative then what he played with when he was ten and were a lot more like what he raced when he was a kid and as an adult. Tina and J.R. would race on the weekends just like it was old times when they were growing up. Like their previous days of racing, they found friends that became their “racing family.” The owners of WCM Quarterscale embraced J.R. and Tina immediately. Thanks to Mark Hogue, Chris Hogue and Terrence Garret for doing this. J.R. helped them start their company while assisting it to become global. He would take, ship and fill orders at all hours of the night. J.R. was awake at odd times due to his health condition and this fit well with his sleeping schedule to get the company going globally at all hours of the day. Tina and J.R. also had travel teammates that would assist them with traveling all over the United States. Thanks to Todd Holloway and Kevin Ligon for accompanying them on their countless race traveling trips together. We will miss you J.R. We all know you are no longer in pain and are with your family in heaven. You can race as much as you want there. You can help whomever you want there. Andrew is no longer in a wheel chair and you both can play together as much as you want without any physical strain on both your bodies. We are sure you are in a better place that allows whatever activities, sports and racing as much as you want without any consequences physically. I am sure you are also playing with all the pets that you loved too throughout your life. Heaven will be a much better place with you in it and I am sure it will be extremely more competitive as well… J.R. was preceded in death by his son, Andrew Michael Parsley and his step father, Richard Miller. He is survived by his wife, Tina Parsley; mother Arlene Miller and father, Jimmy Ray Parsley Sr.; sister, Jamie Parsley; brother, Jason “Bubba” Parsley (Shanna); nieces, Jaidyn, Jaeleigh, and Jose Parsley. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, February 23, 2019 at Conkle Funeral Home Avon Chapel with visitation from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday. Burial will be in Danville South Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Disabled Jockey’s Fund, box 803 Elmhurst, IL 90126 or the Hendricks County Animal Shelter. SERVICES Visitation Friday, February 22, 2019 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM Conkle Funeral Home, Avon Chapel 76 North Avon Avenue Avon, Indiana 46123 Get Directions on Google Maps Funeral Service Saturday, February 23, 2019 1:00 PM Conkle Funeral Home, Avon Chapel 76 North Avon Avenue Avon, Indiana 46123 Get Directions on Google Maps Print Obituary
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of J R Parsley Jr August 07 1972 February 12 2019.
Death notice for the town of: Avon, state: Indiana