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Patricia's Story

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Dr. Patricia Anne (Duncan) Parrish passed away April 7, 2016, at 2:30 a.m. after a 17-year struggle with breast cancer. At the time of her death she resided in Rockwall, Texas.
She was born May 25, 1942, at Brooks Air Force Base Hospital in San Antonio, Texas, to James Preston and Mamie (Kalil) Duncan. Dr. Parrish was the granddaughter of Lebanese immigrants, Nahum and Martha (Atee) Kalil, and the granddaughter of Robert Alexander and Minnie (Cobb) Duncan.
Patricia Anne (Duncan) Parrish completed her doctoral degree in educational administration in 1994 from Texas A&M University - Commerce. Dr. Parrish attended seven universities and completed nine professional certifications in the Texas Teacher Certificate system. She was a Nationally Certified Educational Diagnostician (No. 0171) and Registered Professional Educational Diagnostician (No. 1044) in the state of Texas. Dr. Parrish maintained membership in multiple professional organizations, including Phi Delta Kappa, an international professional association for educators.
Dr. Parrish was active in prekindergarten through postsecondary education for 40 years in instructional, diagnostic, central office administrative, and university positions in New York and Texas. Employment in Texas occurred in Palestine Independent School District, Cayuga ISD, multiple North Texas schools in the Anderson County Cooperative, Shepherd ISD, Coldspring ISD, Splendora ISD, and Sweeny ISD. Employment in New York was in Central Islip ISD.
At the time of her death, Dr. Parrish was a faculty member in the Department of Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education at Texas A&M University - Commerce as an adjunct and interim professor. In addition to faculty positions during her 14-year employment at TAMU-C, she served as director of the educational diagnostician program, interim director of the Center for Educator Certification and Academic Services, and in selected committee member positions when TAMU-C and TAMU-College Station launched online educator certification programs.
Dr. Parrish's history with Texas A&M University - Commerce spans more than 40 years. She initially enrolled in graduate level course offerings through the university in 1974, completing both the master's and doctorate degrees through TAMU-C. In 2011, the department designated Dr. Parrish as an Alumni Ambassador, the highest honor a department of the university bestows upon a graduate.
Dr. Parrish is the author of multiple newspaper articles, newsletters, and informational brochures focusing on educational programs and services in public schools and professional journals. In 2010, she authored "A Wake Up Call for Schools: A New Order in Public Education." In 2014, she authored "Getting it Right: Dynamic School Renewal, Fixing What's Broken," a sequel to "A Wake Up Call for Schools" that includes current research-based strategies and tools for meeting educational needs of all students. Both books are published by Rowman & Littlefield Education, an international publisher with offices in the greater Washington DC area, New York City, Boulder, Toronto, and London. The urgent call for the nation's schools to step up to the plate and align course offerings for all students with 21st century needs and expectations, as included in these books, has been the source of presentations in national conferences in Boston, Dallas, Kansas City, Minneapolis, and Anaheim.
Dr. Parrish began her childhood education in Nagoya, Japan, an American school at Nagoya Air Force Base. In addition, she attended K-12 public schools in Texas in Sherman ISD, San Benito ISD, and Abilene ISD, graduating in 1959. Dr. Parrish lived or traveled in each of the 50 states in the United States. In addition to living in Japan, she traveled to Costa Rica, Panama, multiple locations in Canada, throughout Mexico and the Caribbean Islands, Russia, Brazil and extensively in Europe.
Dr. Parrish is survived by her husband of 54 years, Dr. Linden Joe Parrish, an alumnus of Texas A&M University - Commerce, having completed the doctorate degree from this university in educational administration in 1977. She is also survived by three sons, Phillip Duncan Parrish, Timothy Linden Parrish, and Stephen Joseph Parrish; daughters-by-marriage Mitzy Kay (Green) Parrish, Susan (Samuel) Parrish, and Kristy Dawn (Moss) Parrish; and nine grandchildren, Stanford Parrish, Jefferson Parrish, Bailee Nicole Parrish, Joseph Timothy Parrish, Caroline Grace Parrish, Alexander Bruce Parrish, Ryan James Parrish, Landon Jacob Parrish, and Brooklyn Samantha Parrish.
As an alternative to flowers, memorials in Dr. Parrish's honor can be made to the Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education Endowment Fund at Texas A&M University - Commerce, the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center located at 5554 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX 75235, or to Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center at 3410 Worth St., Dallas, TX, 75246.
Resthaven Funeral Home-Rockwall Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
Published on April 13, 2016
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