Cover photo for Frank  Leo Parsons's Obituary
Frank  Leo Parsons Profile Photo
1942 Frank 2021

Frank Leo Parsons

March 23, 1942 — November 17, 2021

Frank Leo Parsons, age 79, of Columbia, Missouri, passed away on November 17, 2021, at Rusk Rehab Hospital in Columbia, Missouri, due to complications following a heart attack. Frank was born on March 23, 1942, in Fairfield, Iowa, to Leo H. Parsons and Marguerite Brill Parsons. He grew up in Birmingham, Iowa, graduating from Birmingham High School in 1958. Afterward, Frank attended Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa, for two years before transferring to Northeast Missouri State Teachers College (now Truman State University) in Kirksville, Missouri, where he received a bachelor’s degree in 1962 and a master’s degree in 1968, both in physical education.

Frank worked many jobs in his life – small business owner, deputy sheriff, social worker, salesman, cattle farmer, sports radio commentator – but the job that defined him was basketball coach. He coached in many small schools throughout Missouri and Iowa, with Fox Valley and Newburg perhaps being the most memorable. Wherever he coached, he loved his players like his sons, and although he had four children of his own, he was a second father (sometimes closer to a first) to so many more.

Frank was known for his quick wit and one-liners. He had an amazing ability to retain random facts and historical knowledge, making him a formidable force at his favorite game, Jeopardy! In fact, Frank was quite good at all board and card games, garnering a reputation in his family as the one to beat. If there's one thing Frank's children agreed on, it was that games were way more fun when their dad played.

Frank will also be leaving behind many close friends. Unlike many people whose circles shrink with age, Frank’s was ever-expanding. Despite being near 80, he had good friends from every decade, and it was a running joke that wherever he went, he always ran into someone he knew. Even in his last year of life, he became friends and golf buddies with an international film director (who got him to try sushi and kimchee) and had a traditional Ugandan meal with close family friends in Denton, Texas. Late-era Frank had budding international tastes.

Frank was by no means a perfect man. He would be the first to admit that. He was cantankerous, stubborn, and would tell you what he thought whether you wanted to hear it or not. He made his mistakes. But if Frank loved you, he loved you. (And he loved a lot of people but especially his grandchildren.) Rest assured, he would still tell you what he thought and talk a fair bit of trash (especially when golfing or playing cards or other games). But if you were one of his, he would stand up for you, he would stand by you, and he would go to the mat for you, regardless of the cost to himself. He was absolutely uncompromising. He will be missed.

He is preceded in death by his parents and his brother-in-law, Jerry Hill.

Frank is survived by Patricia Parsons with whom he shared a 45-year marriage; his children, Eric Parsons and wife Sarah, of Columbia, Missouri; Tammy Larson and husband Jay, of Show Low, Arizona; Alison Wilson and husband James, of Oskaloosa, Iowa; and Kendra Breitsprecher (from a former marriage) and husband Dean, of Dayton, Iowa; his grandchildren, Connor, Oliver, and Eleanor Parsons, of Columbia, Missouri; Gracie, Winny, Ruby, and Felix Larson, of Show Low, Arizona; Lola Wilson, of Oskaloosa, Iowa; Cody and Patrick Breitsprecher, of Dayton, Iowa; and Josie Shelton and wife Emma, of Spring Hill, Kansas; Frank’s sister, Shirley Hill, of Albia, Iowa; numerous nieces and nephews; and many others whom he considered his own, including Joe Noblitt, of Mission, Kansas, who lived with Frank and his family throughout much of his high school career and was certainly Frank’s second son; Schuyler Black, of Des Moines, Iowa; Charles Besick, of Cedar, Iowa; Chris Birkenmaier, of Blue Springs, Missouri; and Tony Glass, of Jupiter, Florida (as well as plenty more too numerous to list).

Visitation will be held Monday, November 29, 2021 from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm, at Pathway Memorial Funeral Home in Moberly, Missouri. If desired, donations may be sent to Van Buren County Community School District Athletics, 807 1st Street, PO Box 220, Keosauqua, Iowa 52565, in Frank’s memory.

Condolences may be shared online at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Frank Leo Parsons, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, November 29, 2021

6:00 - 8:00pm (Central time)

Pathway Memorial Funeral Home

411 Union Ave, Moberly, MO 65270-2548

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 19

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree