Barbara R. Parish (nee Robinson) passed away October 13, 2021 at the age of 90 in her home with her daughters by her side.
Barbara was born June 15, 1931 to the late Beanie and Inola Robinson in Kosciusko, Mississippi. She attended Tipton High School in which she graduated, receiving her high school diploma May 25, 1951.
Barbara was married to the late Lamar Parish in Joliet, Illinois; from this union of love, eight children were birthed.
Barbara was a devout Christian and a long time standing, faithful member of her home church, Second Baptist; where she served as President of the Nurses Health Unit.
Barbara was an amazing woman, she made sure her kids’ hair was always done and their clothes cleaned and ironed for the week. She loved spending time in the kitchen, creating delicious meals for her family and friends. She was a neighborhood mentor to adults as well as children. The “Whitley Avenue porch” became a magnet for all to gather. She would sit on her porch for hours in a day and when people saw her, they would stop or blow their horn and wave. The love she had for people was uplifting and a radiant light to her personality.
Barbara was a beautician by skill (not by trade). She pressed and curled hair for people in the community and for the funeral home.
Barbara worked at the Joliet Housing Authority/Spring Bluff Community Center. She also worked at the University of Illinois leading their nutrition program. She served on the PTA school board when her children were younger for Forest Park Elementary School. She became an outstanding leader for the 4-H and Brownie Club. Barbara also worked at the Joliet Arsenal Ammunition Plant. She did house cleaning on the side. She served as an Avon representative for 30 plus years. She worked at Sunny Hill Nursing Home as a CNA from where she eventually retired from.
Barbara was a great cook, she was famous for several foods she prepared; to name a few, was homemade dumplings, fried fruit pies, oh so good tea cakes, homemade jellies, and canning fruits and vegetables. Her pies were so delicious, her four-layer cakes always made a statement. You couldn’t leave her house without getting a taste of her food.
Barbara cared deeply for her family and others. Her grandchildren gave her joy to her soul. She claimed her children's friends as her own, not out of obligation, but because of the love she had in her heart for others. She assured that everyone that crossed her path would be loved.
Barbara was a strong, resilient woman, her faith in the Lord Jesus never wavered. She was a comedian in her own right, full of laughter. She was a very sassy, classy lady.
Barbara never gave up until the Lord Jesus called her home.
Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, Beanie and Inola Robinson; her husband, Lamar Parish; five siblings, A.B. “Dude” Robinson, Johnny Robinson, James Robinson, Lula Mae Parish, and Ella Vera Rich; her two children, Brenda Brooks and Donald Parish; her grandchildren, Courtney Parish, Kearra Hosey-Crosby, Gregory Arness Brooks, and Anthony Brooks.
She leaves to cherish her loving memories to her children, Gwen White, Annette Parish, Laurita Parish, Paulette Willis, Evette Durham and Trina Williams, all of Joliet, IL; her siblings, Velma Mallett of Kosciusko, MS; Helen Love of Joliet, IL; Nola Gladney of Milwaukee, WI; and M.J. (Ora) Robinson of Milwaukee, WI; 16 grandchildren 28 great-grandchildren; 7 great-great-grandchildren, and a host of other relatives and friends.