Roxanna Marie "Roxy" Ray Parrish, passed away peacefully at her home Friday, Aug. 1, 2014 after a lengthy illness.
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She was born on June 14, 1951, in Panama City, Florida, to an Air Force family. She cherished her early years in Colorado Springs while her father was in the Air Force Academy band. Later, the family transferred to Shaw A.F.B. in Sumter, South Carolina.
Roxy was the oldest of the family's seven children and was immensely proud of her brothers and sisters. She attended Hillcrest High School in Dalzell, S.C. As an Army wife, she lived all over the U.S. and in Germany, finally settling with her family in Coastal Georgia in 1983. After building a house in Hinesville in 1984 to create a permanent home for her children, she opened a business with her brother Robert: Craftique and Billy Bob's Balloon Bouquets, where she enjoyed selling craft supplies and teaching classes in things like macramé and basket weaving. A few years after the shop closed, she went back to work full-time as the installation volunteer coordinator and family support group director for Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Air Field. Her work was recognized and honored when she received the distinguished Molly Pitcher Award. She was proud to earn her certification as a personal trainer in the late 90s.
She beamed with pride as her daughter (chapter regent) swore her into the Susan Carrington Clarke Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Connecticut.
Roxy was a wonderful mom, sister, daughter, wife, and friend. Through her illness, she seldom complained. She was referred to by many of her doctors as a "walking miracle" who, on paper, shouldn't have been alive. She endured because the love of and for her family and friends.
Roxy had many hobbies. She loved collecting everything! She was a voracious reader, an extraordinary conversationalist, a gifted writer, and loved crochet, quilting and family history. She loved to travel. She was a phenomenal cook.
She will be deeply missed by all who knew her and loved her.
Roxy was predeceased by her father, Forrest A. Ray, and sister, Rose J. Ray Kercheval.
She is survived by her devoted children, Benjamin Lucas Parrish (Charlie Ann Bland Parrish) of Faison, NC; Elizabeth Rosalie Parrish Hollman (Michael J. Hollman) of Meriden, CT; and Geoffrey Aaron Parrish (Angela Horner Parrish) of Somerset, PA, as well as her 10 adoring grandsons: Ryan Parrish of Durham, NC; Dakota Best, Joseph and Shannon Parrish all of Faison, Michael, Henry and Daniel Hollman of Meriden, and Pate Parrish, Samuel Painter and Caleb Parrish, all of Somerset. She is also survived by her mother, Retta Sims of Savannah; her mom, Virginia Kiser Ray of Sumter; her treasured siblings, Robert D. Ray of Savannah Rebecca Ray Turner of Great Falls, MT; W.D. Sting Ray (Teresa Taylor Ray) of Waxhaw, NC; Laura Ray Blanchard (Richard) of Summerville, SC; and U.S.A.F. Lt. Col. William F. Ray (Susan Minor Ray) of Osan, South Korea; her special great-aunt, Rebecca Bowen Craze of Huntington, WV; and her extended family; as well as nieces and nephews, Heather Brant Hunter, Melodee Brant; Forrest and Kristine Adams, Justin and Joshua Ray, Katherine, Stockton and Laura Grace Blanchard, and Mary Elizabeth, William and Matthew Ray. Roxy would have wanted to acknowledge that she is also survived by the following people, who were cherished: her ex-husband of 29 years, Ronnie D. Parrish of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; family friend, Edward Bryant of Savannah; friends of Hinesville: Maria Blankenship, Patrice Johnson, Dana Ross and neighbors Denise Marshall and Leroy Austin and family.
Additionally, her children would like to thank dear friends: Elizabeth and Becky at Tea Room Savannah, who always had a spot by the fire and a warm cup of tea for her; Mary Leopold of Leopold's Ice Cream Shop in Savannah, who cheered her through similar struggles; the sweet ladies of Parkers on Highway 84 in Hinesville, where she always stopped for tea and laughs, and countless other friends, as everyone she met was her friend. Finally, her children would like to thank the staff at Divita Hinesville for the kindness and medical care she received; and Drs. Sabin Tomas and Ovidiu "George" Negrea as well as their nurses and staff for the compassion, attention and love. She cherished the medical community that embraced and cared for her.
A celebration of her life will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, in the chapel at Thomas L. Carter Funeral Home, 1822 E. Oglethorpe Highway. Do not feel obligated to wear black. Roxy's favorite color was purple.
Contributions in memory of her may be made to The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (themmrf.org) or Donate Life (donatelife.net).
Thomas L. Carter Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Thomas L Carter Funeral Home
1822 E Oglethorpe Highway Hinesville, GA 31313
Published in Coastal Courier from Aug. 4 to Aug. 11, 2014