Beulah M. Parrish, 96

Posted on March 4, 2015

Beulah Mildred Parrish, age 96, died peacefully in her sleep Friday afternoon, Feb. 27, 2015, at The Woodcrest Retirement Center, in Decatur.
Mrs. Parrish was the surviving spouse of the late Judge Myles F. Parrish, who was the youngest elected Circuit Court Judge, at age 29, in the history of Indiana. He was also the longest serving Circuit Court Judge in the state from 1948 until his death Aug. 24, 1981.
It was while campaigning for judge, in 1947, that Mrs. Parrish, then Beulah Augsburger, met her future husband. She had just returned home from a long day of teaching when her father, John C. Augsburger, introduced her to Myles Parrish who was campaigning house to house in Adams County. Likewise, Myles Parrish was getting weary by the end of a long afternoon and did not want to visit one more house. However, his father was with him and said, “Myles please stop at this farm. These voters could change the primary election outcome.” Little did the judge know, it would ultimately change his entire life. In July of 1948, Beulah Augsburger became Mrs. Myles F. Parrish.
Mrs. Parrish was born March 7, 1918, to Mr. and Mrs. John C. Augsburger and grew up on a farm west of Berne. Her family homestead was directly in front of Pine Lake. She was fluent in both German and English. After graduating from Hartford Township High School in 1936, she attended Ball State Teacher’s College where she earned her teaching degree. Beulah Augsburger returned home in 1938 and began teaching second and third graders. She taught for a decade until her marriage to Judge Parrish. Mrs. Parrish is the last surviving school teacher from The Hartford Township School.
After her marriage to Judge Parrish, Beulah moved to Decatur where she spent the next 68 years of her life. In 1951, she gave birth to her only son, M. Franklin Parrish, named in memory of Judge Parrish’s Father. Her son is currently a practicing attorney in the field of estate planning in the San Francisco Bay Area in California.
While living in Decatur, Mrs. Parrish was an active member of numerous civic, religious and political organizations. She was a member of The First United Methodist Church and was an active member of the church’s chancel choir until her late SO’s. She also was a member of The Decatur Book Club, The Decatur Woman’s Club, The Adams County Historical Society, The Hartford Alumni Association, as well as an active member of The Women’s Section of The Democratic Party. Mrs. Parrish loved outdoor activities and swam at the Decatur Municipal pool into her late eighties.
Beulah Parrish also taught kindergarten for many years at The Old Lincoln Grade School in Decatur. She taught Sunday School at The United Methodist Church for 15 years, was a leader in The Methodist Youth Fellowship (MYF), as well as, active in Scouting as a Den Mother and worked with her son, Franklin in attaining his Eagle Scout designation at age 12.
Mrs. Parrish throughout her life was involved in both piano as well as vocal music. At age 96, she still frequently played for the weekly religious services at Woodcrest. Mrs. Parrish was a member for three decades of The Mennonite Choral Society in Berne and performed in numerous renditions of Handel’s, “Messiah,” Hayden’s, “Creation,” Brahms’, “A German Requiem,” as well as Mendelsohn’s, “Elijah,” and “Saint Paul.”
Mrs. Parrish was a very ecumenical lady. She was born into a family who were members of The German Reform Church (now The United Church of Christ). Her grandfather, Christian Augsburger was a minister and one of the founders of The Mennonite Church in Berne. After their marriage, Mrs. Parrish joined The Methodist Church in Decatur. At this same time Mrs. Parrish supported Judge Parrish’s Court decision in 1953 allowing The Jehovah Witness Congregation the right to build a Kingdom Hall in Decatur. Its petition had been repeatedly denied by The Decatur City Council. Finally, on her many visits to California to be with her son, Franklin, and his wife, Lorraine Weklar Parrish, she attended Mass with her family at St. John Vianney Catholic Church.
Following Judge Parrish’s death in 1981, Mrs. Parrish went on a variety of cross country trips by train as well as by flight. She also was on several cruises with her son and his family to Britain, France, Poland, Latvia, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia, she participated in “The Berne to Berne Switzerland Tours” sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Sherman Stuckey, and made a pilgrimage to the Middle East visiting, Israel, Jordon, Gaza and the pyramids in Egypt.
Her greatest love was spending time with her two grandchildren, James Myles F. Parrish and Elizabeth Anne Parrish in California. In 30 years, Mrs. Parrish made over 70 trips to the San Francisco Bay Area to be with her California family, Franklin, Lorraine, James and Elizabeth. James now age 31 is a graduate of Cornell University, and until June of 2014, was on active duty as a Captain/Cobra Attack Helicopter Pilot in The United States Marine Corps. He is now enrolled in a post graduate (pre-med) program at The University of Virginia, in Charlottesville.
Mrs. Parrish’s only granddaughter, Elizabeth, now age 24, graduated in 2013 from The University of California, at Berkeley where she attained a Bachelor of Arts Degree, in Psychology with “Distinction In General Scholarship.” She is employed as an associate by Triage Consulting Group in San Francisco while studying for the LSAT.
Mrs. Parrish was a great supporter of higher education and established in 1991 an Endowment Fund for graduating seniors from Bellmont High School who express a desire of going into the fields of law or law enforcement. Mrs. Parrish also worked with members of The Adams County Bar Association in having a bronze plaque placed at the entrance of the courthouse in memory of her late Husband, Judge Myles F. Parrish.
Mrs. Parrish was the last surviving sibling of her immediate family comprised of two brothers, Homer and Norman Augsburger and her one sister, Daisy Cox.
Funeral Services will be held at The First United Methodist Church in Decatur on Saturday, March 7, at 2 p.m. Viewing will be in The First United Methodist Church Foyer on Saturday, March 7 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Interment will follow at The Decatur Cemetery in Decatur, adjacent to her late spouse, The Honorable Myles F. Parrish.
Memorials are to: Myles F. Parrish Endowment Fund through the Adams County Community Foundation.
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