Faye Parrish, 96, of Boulder, died peacefully with her family by her side at Frasier Health Care on Monday, February 12, 2018 after a brief illness. She and her husband, R. C. have resided in their Frasier Meadows Retirement Community independent living apartment for 18 years.
Born in Childress, Texas on January 21, 1922 to Shelly and Lena Collins, she was one of seven children.
Faye grew up in Childress, graduating from Childress High School in 1941. She met her future husband, R. C. Parrish while working as a receptionist at the Childress Hospital. R. C. was farming in nearby Carey, and he claims it was a case of love at first sight. They were married three months later, on May 15, 1949, recently celebrating their 69th anniversary. She claimed to love being a farmer’s wife. That role was to be short-lived.
Their first two years farming together were not auspicious, due to wind destroying their crops. R. C.’s Uncle, Leo Parrish owned the Rocky Mountain Motel in Boulder, and convinced the newlyweds to relocate, because he claimed, “the wind never blows in Boulder.” Arriving in January, 1951 during a chinook, they were unable to unload their trailer for two days because of the wind. They stayed anyway and took up temporary residence in what was the oldest home in Boulder at that time, near 28th Street and Water Street (Canyon Blvd.).
As R. C. began his new career in construction working on Barker Dam and the nearby Rocky Flats plant, Faye embraced her chosen role as wife, homemaker, and mother. It has been said that the television role of June Cleaver (Leave it to Beaver) was modeled after her. She was devoted, resourceful, and friendly, classifying everyone into two groups: her friends—and the friends she hadn’t met yet. She was a passionate advocate of the underdog, and never uttered an unkind word about anyone.
Growing up in a large family during the depression, she learned how to “make do with what you have.” As a child, she sometimes wore dresses made from the printed material of flour sacks. This forced thriftiness became part of her DNA. She was frugal to a fault, and virtually never threw anything away. She was not a hoarder, but always looked for ways to repurpose things or share them, or sell them. Anything but throw it out! She would often recycle things in her craft projects. She always had a new project underway. Though loathe to spend money on herself, she was extremely generous to her family and friends—and everyone was her friend.
Once both her boys were in school, she worked outside the home at Neusteters Department Store, White’s Auto Store, Buster Brown Shoe Store, and Johnson’s Publishing. In retirement, she and R. C. travelled to 49 states in their motor home and travel trailer. They also traveled to Europe and Hawaii, and took nine cruises, including port calls in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, South Pacific, Alaska, and the Panama Canal.
Active for decades in her church, Faye assumed roles in many areas, including the nursery. Her spiritual gift was hospitality, and she displayed this gift countless times throughout her life. She was the consummate hostess, and loved a party. Her specialty was southern comfort food.
Faye thrived at Frasier Meadows Retirement Community, making friends quickly, and participating in many social opportunities. One of her favorite activities was the weekly Bingo game. She was extremely lucky, and especially enjoyed the people—including Paula, her steadfast partner. She also volunteered on numerous committees.
Faye had an incredible knack for growing things, especially orchids. She didn’t know much about them, except how to make them thrive. People would often give her seemingly dead sticks that used to have blossoms, and she would revive them, tending to a dozen or more.
She is survived by her husband R. C. Parrish of Boulder, son Larry Parrish of Boulder, granddaughter Lindsay (Boris) Krupa; grandson Jerrud (Liz) Parrish of Tucson, Arizona; grandson Collin (Teresa) Parrish of Scottsbluff, Nebraska; three great-grandchildren; and many cherished nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her son Jack Parrish of Tucson, Arizona; and her six siblings.
The family wishes to express gratitude to the staff of Boulder Community Health—Foothills Hospital, Frasier Health Care Center, and Tru Community Care of Lafayette for their dedication, professionalism, and compassion in caring for Faye.
There was a private burial at Mountain View Memorial Park in Boulder on Saturday, February 17th. A public Celebration of Life will be held at Frasier Meadows Retirement Community Chapel, 350 Ponca Place, Boulder, CO, 80303, on Saturday, March 3, 2:30 pm. Tel: 303-499-4888. Valet assistance available. A reception will follow in the Frasier Town Grille.