CARBONDALE — Kathryn “Kay” Parrish, 81, passed away Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, in St. Vincent’s Hospital, Indianapolis, Ind.
Kathryn Brooks was born Nov. 1, 1932, in Macedonia, to Warner Clinton and Florence (Winemiller) Brooks.
Kathryn had a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Business Education and earned her Ph. D., in occupational education from SIU Carbondale in 1983. She was a teacher/educator for her entire professional career, as well as working for many years at home as a typist and editor for SIU graduate students. In 1970 she became the first director of the new Operation rebound program, a program begun at Carbondale Community High School to enable high school dropouts to earn high school equivalency in a non-traditional setting. She retired from CCHS in 1994. During those years, she was a tireless advocate for high school dropouts in the area and assisted thousands of high school dropouts of all ages and backgrounds achieve a high school diploma and, hopefully, a better life. As her mother had only an 8th grade education and her father could neither read nor write, Kathryn’s life was remarkable in terms of the level of education she achieved. That she dedicated most of her life to helping others receive an education is further testament to her highest regard for the importance of learning.
She loved flower gardening and working in her yard, taking great pride in both. Kathryn was a beloved mother and grandmother.
She is survived by two daughters, Gail (Jim) Ellet of Carlsbad, New Mexico, and Becky (Ben) Markham of Carmel, Ind.; four grandsons, Austin Halstead, Jordan Manis, Matthew Markham and Patrick Markham; two granddaughters, Melissa Ellet and Mary Markham; a sister, Hazel (Bill) Lampley of Benton; and a brother, Donnie Brooks, also of Benton.
Kathryn was preceded in death by her parents and her close friend and ex-husband, Ralph Parrish.
Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, at Walker Funeral Home and Crematory of Carbondale. Services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday in the funeral home, with Ralph Brandon officiating. Interment will be in Pleasant Grove Memorial Park in Murphysboro.