Sarah Gilbert Parrish


It is with heartfelt sadness that Sarah Gilbert Parrish, 90, passed away on March 10, 2019 at The Fellowship Home at Brookside in Valdosta, GA. Born in Jesup, GA on January 5, 1929, she was the youngest daughter of Sarah Cunningham Rainey and Percival Henry Gilbert. She graduated from University of Georgia in 1950 with a BA in English and a minor in Drama (She performed in many Shakespearean theatre productions in college.) She later met Henry A. Parrish while both were high school teachers in Baxley, GA, and they married on August 5, 1951, having enjoyed 67 years together until his recent passing on October 12, 2018.
Sarah and Henry lived, and raised three children, in Lakeland, Florida then in Valdosta, GA where they settled for the remainder of their lives. Sarah began work for her lifelong friend, Dr. Bill Gabard, and, later, for Dr. Tracy Harrington as secretary for the International Studies Program at Valdosta State College. For 16 years, she enjoyed her role preparing and supporting foreign students on campus and helping to host various ambassadors from around the world. Sarah was an avid bridge player, mystery novel reader, and she loved traveling with Henry (and often with close friends) throughout the US, Canada, and Europe. They enjoyed meeting family in the North Carolina Mountains or at Fernandina Beach, FL.
Sarah was a faithful and devoted servant to both St. David's Episcopal Church in Lakeland, Florida and Christ Episcopal Church in Valdosta, GA accumulating 45 years on The Altar Guild. She enjoyed partaking in fellowship within her church and communities throughout her lifetime. She was reserved, kind, intelligent, and articulate, but mostly, she was dutiful and loyal.
Sarah's most extraordinary accomplishment was the selfless, unwavering care of her husband, Henry during his last 10+ years with Alzheimer's Disease. She and Henry both spent their final days at The Fellowship Home where they received loving care.
Survivors include her only sister, Mary Boyd Zinn of Nashville, TN; daughter Karen Parrish Lucas of St. Simons Island, GA; daughter Lynn Parrish Thompson (Chuck) of Greenville, SC; son, Stephen Alexander Parrish of Olympia, WA.; granddaughter Ashley Rhodes Fox (Robby) of Birmingham, AL; granddaughter Katherine Eleanor Fagan (Alex) of Greenville, SC; grandson Stephen Tradd Thompson of San Jose, CA; grandson Joseph Alexander Thompson of Columbia, SC, a niece and several nephews. Sarah was preceded in death by her parents, Sarah Cunningham Gilbert Rainey of Belton, SC and George Stephen (Deck) Rainey of Piedmont, SC.
The family wishes to express deep appreciation to The Fellowship Home and Bethany Hospice staff who provided Sarah with professional and compassionate end of life care.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 24, 2019, at Christ Episcopal Church, 1521 No. Patterson St., Valdosta, GA, 32602. Rev Dave Johnson will officiate, interment will follow the service in the Church Memorial Garden, and the family will receive guests in the Parish Hall.
In lieu of flowers, donations would be most welcome to Christ Episcopal Church or Bethany Hospice.
Published on March 19, 2019
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