Edward Louis Parish was born June 30, 1961 in Milwaukee Wisconsin and passed away peacefully in the early hours of June 7, 2014 in the Reach group home on Mark Allen attended by his beloved caregivers.
Ed is preceded in death by his father, Robert Lee Parish, 1990, his mother Dorothy Dalton Parish, 2004 and sister Carol Kegg, Morris,2004. Siblings, include Carmel Walder of Seattle, Marie Janes of Tacoma, Daniel Collins of Portland, Dixie Hansen of Anchorage, Lorene Taylor of Portland, Ione Johnson of Vancouver., Robert Ray Parish of Sonsonate El Salvador, Emery Parish of Redmond .David Parish of Juneau and many in-laws ,cousins, nephews and nieces.
Fast Eddie, as he was affectionately known, was a rare blend of Casanova, Tom Jones, and Sir Walter Raleigh. He was a wellspring of love and apparent devotion to the thousands of women he had the good fortune of encountering. He kissed more lovely hands then the Pope ever dreamed of touching. In his prime he won dozens of special Olympic gold medals for swimming, 50 and 100 yard dashes , swimming and softball throw. Local artist Dan DeRoux once created a custom Wheaties box with Ed's photo, clipped from an Anchorage newspaper, crossing the hundred yard finish line at the Anchorage Special Olympics ,after he had paused along the way to shake hands and acknowledge his fans under the alias of Teddy Clark ,a.k.a. Clark Kent, Superman and Spiderman.
In his later years Ed began to pursue acrylic painting and one of his works is used as the street sign for the Canvas Studio downtown. Phoebe Rohrbacher, former caregiver, friend, enriched Eds' life with the Superman mural above his bed and an amazing collage of his life. Reid Tippets, group home manager, and caregiver for twenty years , proved to be Ed's champion in his final days.
Ed was profoundly challenged on many levels, he faced internal obstacles that would have intimidated any Olympic, ninja warrior, athlete. For years he heroically overcame chronic pain to rise up and pass love , acceptance and inspiration, freely to whomever he encountered.
Ed succumbed to the ravages of old age ; leaving our community at 52years 11 months, (approximately 90 Downs years), with golden, treasured memories of the Superman of Love.
The following insights concerning the mystery of Ed's experiences here were provided by our elder sister Carmel Walder.
"Perhaps when God sees that a family desperately needs someone whose welfare they must consider before themselves, He calls upon His angels and says "This family needs one of you. I love them dearly, but they cannot be prepared for heaven on the path they are headed. Who will go?" It is a hard choice for the angels, as they must give up their heavenly home for a lifetime in a body that is in some way imperfect. God describes the family situation and the earthly body the angel must occupy. He tells them that the earthly body will suffer the pain, trial, struggle and hardship of any other mortal. The body will be subject to all weakness and temptation, but the soul will remain intact and uncorrupted.
The angel who volunteers is born to earth and in his feeble, humble, condition, binds the family, strengthens the characters and builds love, compassion, patience, kindness, consideration and all other virtues. In addition to making the family more fit for heaven, He makes everyone with whom they come into contact, a better person. He makes us ALL better and more prepared for heaven.
Thank God for loving us enough to send his angel Edward Louis Parish to help us. Thank you, Ed for volunteering for this hard life. Your work is done. We will do our best to continue the lessons you taught us"
Graveside service is being conducted by the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'I's at 2P.M. Thursday June 12,2014. A small reception will occur at 8915 Sleepy Court following internment.
A Celebration of Life is being planned.
Published in The Juneau Empire on June 11, 2014