Betty Ross Hayes Parish
Mrs. Betty Ross Hayes Parish, 88, known affectionately as “MimMim,” joined her Heavenly Father early Monday morning, May 23, 2016 while surrounded by her family. The family will greet visitors Saturday, May 28, 2016 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at James Funeral Home in Wrens. Services will be in the James Funeral Home Chapel on Sunday, May 29, 2016 at 4 p.m. with Rev. Carl Geisik officiating. Interment will follow in the Wrens Memorial Cemetery.
Born in Atlanta in 1927, she moved to Wrens 10 years later when her father took a job managing stores owned by Floyd L. Norton. She quickly met Reeves Parish, a neighborhood boy with whom she played until he entered World War II. It was the first time the two friends had ever been apart. They each realized how deep their love was while he served on the front lines in France. They were married within a year of his return. Their first child was born in Yokohama, Japan one month before the outbreak of the Korean War. With her husband serving, the young mother returned to Wrens with her infant son by ship.
A military family, the Parishs moved many times early in their marriage, living for some time in San Antonio where she worked as the sole bookkeeper for the company that would become Pace Picante; however they always called Wrens home and returned for good in 1963.
Mrs. Parish immediately went to work as Wrens City Clerk, a position she would hold for the next 25 years. During her time there, she and her husband were instrumental in establishing the city’s first ambulance service, for which she served as an active EMT. She also did bookkeeping work for several area companies including Atwell Pecan, Jefferson Construction and after her first retirement spent several years as assistant city administrator for the City of Thomson.
She also served as a justice of the peace in Wrens for 20 years.
Baptized at the age of 12, Mrs. Parish served both her church and her Lord all of her life. Not only did she teach Sunday school and serve as church treasurer for many years, she also lived the Sermon on the Mount, opening her door and offering a home to at least 10 non-related individuals over the years.
She raised her family in the church and taught her extended family, above all else, the importance of honesty, hard work and service.
Mrs. Parish is preceded in death by her parents, Myrtle Lester Skinner Hayes and Ross Jackson Hayes; and brothers, Loren “Gabby” Hayes and Tommy Hayes.
She is survived by her husband, Randall Randall Reeves Parish Sr.; children, Randy (Susan) Parish, Joy (Billy) Belding, Molly (Lex) Howard, Jerry (Mark) Howard and John Huff (Janice)Parish; siblings, Bill Hayes and Evelyn McGahee; grandchildren, Abigail (Vivek)Mathur, Reeves (Maura) Parish, Sarah Parish, Aquila (Kevin) Wright, Jamie (Keisha) Williford, Dixie Caroline (Tom) Pearson, Parish (Amanda) Howard, Matthew (Andrea) Howard, Marcus (Jenny) Howard and Elizabeth (Alexis) Rado; great grandchildren, Shreya Mathur, Rudy Parish, Jackson Wright, Will Wright, Nate Williford, Ben Williford, Lucas Williford, Trevor Rowland, Hayden Howard, Lexie Lou Howard, Mandolyn Howard, Kamry Howard, Kamden Howard and Klara Rado; and special friends, Frances Jones and Lois Stone. Serving as pallbearers will be Reeves Parish, Jamie Williford, Parish Howard, Matthew Howard, Marcus Howard, Tom Pearson, Kevin Wright, and Vivek Mathur. Honorary pallbearers will be the Wrens Fire Department.