Halbstein and Parrish Family Tree
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Steven Thomas Parrish

Steven Thomas Parrish

Male 1953 - 2003

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  • Born  8 Apr 1953  Lunenberg, MA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Male 
    Died  5 Jun 2003  Liberty, Clay County, MO Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried  11 Jun 2003  Liberty, Clay County, MO Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • This is a eulogy for Steve Parrish, written by his daughter, Leslie.

      My name is Leslie and my dad is Steven Thomas Parrish. And for that I am pretty damn lucky.

      You see, my parents divorced when I was four years old. For some dads that would equate to an eternal vacation from the little ones, but fortunately my dad wasn’t in that group of men. My dad took every opportunity he could to visit me and talk to me and spend time with me.

      As a kid, he always called on the same day each week at the same time so I would always know how much longer until I got to talk to him. He also gave me a stack of pre-addressed and pre-stamped envelopes so I had no excuse to not write him. In Missouri, he and I would walk through Parr Hill Park, ‘jump rocks,’ and figure out how we could rearrange the letters on the park sign to have it spell ‘Parrish.’ Then we would walk over to the same hill every time under the same tree and talk about life and how I was doing. He was like my psychologist but cooler.

      Once we went to a zoo and he lied to the ticket person about my age so he could get a discounted ticket. I quickly reminded him of my correct age, loud enough for the ticket person to hear. Not only did he pay the full price for my age group but we had a nice sit-down talk afterwards about how I shouldn’t interrupt daddy’s conversations. He would buy me toys and games to foster my creative mind, and would let me iron his socks when I had an itch to take wrinkles out of something. In addition to calling me every year on my birthday and giving me his best rendition of ‘Happy Birthday,’ he used to sing Elton John’s Blue Eyes to me when I was younger. I still have the record he gave me with that song on it.

      We had nicknames for each other. I was LESL and he was STEV. This was from our TransWorld Airlines years when the tickets showed only the first four letters of the first name. For Christmas one year, he gave me an AT&T calling card and the pin was LESLSTEV so I could call him from anywhere I was for free. Even later he got a toll-free number. His New Years Resolution one year was to see me at least once a month. And he did it. As I grew up and my life got pubescently complex, he gave me a notepad and asked me to write down anything I wanted to talk about so I would have it all ready for when he called. This made our telephone conversations much more rewarding because I got a lot out of them.

      When I wasn’t allowed to fly on my own, my dad would take an airplane from Connecticut to Houston, drive the three hours round-trip to pick me up and take me back to the airport where we would take another plane back to Connecticut. We would get to his house usually after 11PM (far past his bedtime) but he would still always ask if he could make me a sandwich or some soup before bed. After moving to Texas in 1991, my dad became really interested in Texas history. He wanted to visit all of the battle sites of Texas’ battle for independence, and I remember going to the Alamo, San Jacinto, and a large field where soldiers had died a century and more before. He was happy doing anything with me, whether it was watching a movie or watching Sesame Street, playing cards or playing golf, taking a nap or taking a walk.

      After being accepted to The University of Texas, my dad took me to visit the campus. It was my first time in Austin and he did all the research ahead of time to know where to go and what to do and what to see. When I was a freshman at UT, I became depressed because he didn’t call very often and rarely spoke to me longer than 15 minutes when I called him. I asked him about this and told him I really enjoyed talking to him and he informed me that when he was in college he didn’t want his parents calling so much so he assumed I felt the same way. Of course I didn’t! So we talked very regularly after that. When I told him I got my navel pierced I winced awaiting his reaction. Rather than lecturing me, he took me to Old Navy to get some low-rise jeans to show it off.

      When he found out he had cancer, he called me up on a Friday and asked me what I was doing that weekend. I didn’t have any plans so he said there was a ticket waiting for me and the flight was in three hours. So away I went to Missouri. He told me in person that he had cancer because he knew I wouldn’t want to be alone. He took the time to explain everything to me and all of his treatments so I would know exactly what was happening, and he let me cry to him time and time again on the phone as I told him I didn’t want him to die.

      For the weeks preceding my graduation from UT, my dad’s quote of the month was “I’m cuttin’ the ties!” I knew he wasn’t serious. He still had my college loans to pay off! But he did say that he was looking forward to retirement and wanted to be a park ranger – “how cool would that be!”

      My dad loved Queen Lake. If he could go anywhere or do anything, he would be there. He loved his family and the times shared at Queen Lake or other places. One thing he told me in my graduation letter was that I should keep in touch with as many people as I can, or as many people who will keep in touch with me as well.

      My dad’s former co-worker, Brad Weeks, had this to say after hearing of Steve’s death:

      “If Steve Parrish could have known his fate in advance, I can picture him making a ‘Lou Gehrig’ speech declaring himself, ‘The luckiest man on the face of the earth!’ Maybe he was. What I am sure of is that this world is a better place since Steve walked through it. I also know that Steve felt lucky because so many people cared for him, and deeply. I’m just not sure if he realized that he caused it all. Steve made a life’s habit of finding silver linings and redeeming features. An unstoppable positive force. I honestly cannot recall Steve ever having a bad word to say about anyone. Even now that he has departed our material world, Steve’s uplifting spirit helps me recover from the profound emptiness that overtook me on the news of his passing.”

      To me, Brad’s writing is a perfect description of my dad’s attitude and feelings. I keep this pinned on the wall at my desk and read it whenever I want to remember my dad’s smile and laugh and the way he did his white-man dance to 80’s music and how he was on a first-name basis with the weather people on The Weather Channel and how “his ladies” were Reba, Shania, and Trisha and how he worked on his old cars and had to get gas every single day because his gas gauge was broken in one of them and how I used to go to the tower with him overnight and watch the planes with binoculars until I fell asleep on the floor and how he told me he loved me and would always be here for me.

      My name is Leslie and my dad is Steven Thomas Parrish. And for that I am pretty damn lucky.
    Person ID  I0518  Halbstein_Parrish Family Tree
    Last Modified  4 Jun 2009 

    Father  Harlan Wilder Parrish,   b. 24 Sep 1929, Gardner, Ma Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Apr 1988, Hartford, CT Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother  Lois Jean Atkinson,   b. 4 Jul 1933, Fitchburg, MA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 May 2006, Avon, Ct Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  3 Mar 1952  Monterey, California Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID  F194  Group Sheet

    Family 1  Living 
     1. Living
    Last Modified  29 Oct 2012 
    Family ID  F228  Group Sheet

    Family 2  Living 
    Family ID  F229  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 8 Apr 1953 - Lunenberg, MA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 5 Jun 2003 - Liberty, Clay County, MO Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - 11 Jun 2003 - Liberty, Clay County, MO Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
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  • Photos
    Steven Thomas Parrish (1953-2003)
    Steven Thomas Parrish (1953-2003)