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April 23, 1921 - February 27, 2014 OKLAHOMA CITY Pamela Richardson Prentice Parrish died peacefully on February 27, 2014, in Oklahoma City at the age of 92 after a brief illness. Dr. Parrish was born April 23, 1921, to Freeland Richardson and Bessie Taylor Prentice in Duncan, OK. In 1923, the family moved to Oklahoma City, OK. She attended public schools, received a scholarship award, became a member of the National Honor Society, and graduated from Classen High School in 1938. She attended Oklahoma City University from 1938 to 1941, where she studied science and participated in various campus organizations and councils. She was awarded several local and national scholarship honors and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude in 1941. Having chosen a career in medicine, she entered the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine in 1941 and received her medical degree in September 1944. Dr. Parrish was an intern in Baltimore, MD from October 1944 to July 1945, during which time she married Roy Gibson Parrish, MD, a fellow classmate from medical school (January 20, 1945). She trained in internal medicine at University Hospitals, Iowa City, and Wesley Memorial Hospital, Chicago, completing her residency in July 1948. A fellowship at Northwestern Medical Center in Chicago, with an affiliation in private practice, followed in 1949. The couple settled in Oklahoma City in January 1950. There, she established a private practice and became a member of the Oklahoma County, Oklahoma State, and American Medical Associations. From 1951 to 1954, she gave birth to her three children. From November 1956 to June 1961, she worked part time with the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center's Departments of Internal Medicine and Psychiatry, based primarily at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in the Mental Health Division. In 1962, Dr. Parrish joined the O.U. Clinical Pharmacology Unit. The following year, she resumed V.A. staff and Health Sciences faculty membership, serving in various educational, administrative, and treatment roles. In 1976, she was a semifinalist for the V.A. Federal Employee of the Year, and in 1985, was awarded a commendation for the development of a comprehensive alcohol treatment program, of which she served as the Director for over 15 years. In 1986, Dr. Parrish retired as an Associate Professor from the Departments of Medicine and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and became a Professor Emeritus in the latter department. She took much professional and personal satisfaction in these medical practice-related activities and formed many lasting friendships. The couple shared many pleasant times during their marriage, which concluded in 1974. She regarded their three children and their families as their greatest legacy: Roy Gibson Parrish II, MD, his wife Sharon McDonnell, MD, both of Yarmouth, ME, and their children, Morgan McDonnell, of Los Angeles, and Natalya McDonnell, of Yarmouth, ME; Randall Richardson Parrish, PhD, and his children, Nina and David Parrish and their mother, Caroline Edwards, PhD, of Casthorpe, Grantham, England; and Camille Susan Parrish, MS, her husband Kirk Read, PhD, both of Auburn, ME, and their children, Hannah Read, of New York City, and Alice Read, of Auburn, ME. Dr. Parrish was known to all, and especially her family and close friends and neighbors, for her immense generosity, her unconditional positive regard and her dedication to the happiness and well-being of others. Education was a top priority throughout her life, and her children and grandchildren were proud and honored to have their educational opportunities enabled by "Mum" or "Grandpam." She also treasured family reunions combining her love of family and travel over her long life: she could be found camping in the mountains of Western Canada, touring in coastal Maine and Central England, and walking and fishing in Colorado and throughout Oklahoma, most recently for her 90th birthday at Beavers Bend State Park near Broken Bow. Her children, grandchildren, and close friends loved her very much and will miss her dearly. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations for the benefit of either the Oklahoma City University Hunninen Scholarship Fund, 2501 N Blackwelder, Oklahoma City, OK 73106; or the OU College of Medicine Second Century Scholarship campaign, 100 Timberdell Rd, Norman, OK 73019.

Published in The Oklahoman on Mar. 4, 2014
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