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We always have fun and exciting things to share with you.  Please check back often for exhibit information and openings, event details, special Air Zoo visitors, educationand  program announcements and soooo much more!

Media contact:
Nikki Statler, Director of Marketing
nstatler@airzoo.org  |  269.350.2811

Category: Pete Parish

November birthdays

In November, we celebrate the Air Zoo’s birthday (we’re 42 this year!). We also celebrate the people who co-founded this very special place, for they were both born in November, too.  Co-founder Preston S. “Pete” Parish was born on November 10, 1919, while co-founder Suzanne “Sue” Upjohn DeLano Parish was born on November 13, 1922.  We commemorate their birthdays this month and we are privileged to share the gift of their legacies... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Thursday, Oct 28, 2021
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Impacts of the Attacks: Thinking Back 20 Years on September 11, 2001, and the Air Zoo

Twenty years ago, during the hot and humid summer of 2001, a host of visiting airplanes filled the sky during the gala Warbirds Over Kalamazoo. The B-17 Yankee Lady flew in, Otto the Airshow Helicopter performed and provided rides, and Waldo Wright Flying Service’s New Standard Biplane offered a weekend of vintage adventures. The late Dale Snodgrass dazzled the crowd with a low pass in his T-6 while the Army National Guard presented Blue Thunder. As flight enthusiasts kept their eyes to... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Wednesday, Sep 1, 2021
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Go West, Mr. Parish

In the late 1940s, Air Zo co-founder Preston “Pete” Parish (1919-2020) averaged 3,000 miles a month en route from San Diego to Vancouver; Spokane to Salt Lake City; Phoenix to Los Angeles—but not by air!  Pete traveled by train, bus, and infrequently by car in a job he particularly enjoyed: Sales. Based out of Los Angeles, Pete found the work a pleasure. “I had a wonderful time,” he said in a 2001 oral history interview. Before relocating to... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Friday, Jul 30, 2021
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Creating Community in 2021

A letter from Troy - Eight years ago, as I embarked on a new career at an aviation museum in Kalamazoo, Michigan, one of the first people I had the chance to get to know was Pete Parish. It was from Pete that I learned about the dream that inspired the Air Zoo and the vision our founders had for using the Air Zoo to strengthen our community for future generations. Nearly a year after Pete’s death, it is still hard to think about the Air Zoo without him. Pete was one of the most... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Friday, Jul 9, 2021
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Preston Seiter "Pete" Parish - November 10, 1919 - July 1, 2020

It is with deepest sadness that we share that our co-founder Pete Parish passed away last week.  From his service as a Marine in WWII to his philanthropic works across our region, Pete was truly a hero in every sense of the word.  His remarkable legacy will live on throughout this community and through all who experience the Air Zoo for decades to come.  Pete will be forever honored through our work at the Air Zoo. As we celebrate his life and legacy, we look forward to hearing... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Monday, Jul 6, 2020
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