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Springfield and Branson banker Ben Parnell dies

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Ben Albert Parnell Jr., a retired Springfield and Branson banker who had a hand in several banks and was instrumental in providing financing for Silver Dollar City, died Monday. He was 91.

Throughout the years, Parnell served as president, chairman of the board or director of Bank of Taney County, Citizens State Bank, Bank of Kimberling City, Liberty Bank, Springfield Trust Co. and The Bank. He served as president of the Missouri Bankers Association in 1974, according to Springfield Business Journal coverage.

Parnell attended Drury University from 1935 to 1937 and received a bachelor's degree in economics and business administration from Louisiana State University in 1939, according to SBJ.

It was at Drury that he met his wife, Jean, according to an obituary printed Aug. 4 in the Springfield News-Leader. The couple had two sons, Patrick and Todd, who is now president of Drury, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Following college, Parnell served five years in the U.S. Navy during World War II, according to SBJ.

After the war, he returned to southwest Missouri and helped establish People's Bank of Branson, which is now Ozark Mountain Bank, the SBJ article said.

Parnell was named Springfieldian of the Year in 1996 by the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

He served on the Drury Board of Trustees from 1964 to 1971 and in 1983 and was named a life trustee in 1995, according to Drury's Web site.

A memorial service will be held Friday at 2 p.m. in Stone Chapel at Drury, 900 N. Benton Ave., and he will laid to rest at the Ozarks Memorial Park Cemetery in Branson, according to the obituary.[[In-content Ad]]

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