Betty Jo (“BJ”) Parrish

BJ Parrish died March 18, 2018 on Vashon Island after a long and courageous battle with

Parkinson’s Disease. She was born in Newark, NJ, the eldest child of James P. Walsh and Mary

Jo Conley. She lived her life as a caring mother, loving grandma, inspiring friend, dedicated

nurse and thoughtful volunteer.

She was a graduate of the College of St. Teresa in Winona, MN where she received her degree

in nursing; her training included time at the Mayo Clinic. She later married and moved West

where she raised her three children as a divorcee, in Medford, OR. Those years were

highlighted by making lasting memories with her children by taking them on countless road

trips (stopping at every historical marker along the way), ski vacations and frequent visits to

their cabin at Lake of the Woods where she spent time laughing and making lifelong friends on

the dock.

In the late 80’s BJ moved to Seattle where she continued her nursing career as a home

health/hospice nurse with Group Health Cooperative. She settled in Seattle’s Greenlake

neighborhood where she was known for her beautiful garden, which was the talk of the

community. Once retired, she enjoyed giving back through volunteer work at the St. Francis

House and Washington Park Arboretum. In 2005, BJ moved to Vashon Island to be closer to

family and quickly made this her new home. She enjoyed being part of the Vashon community,

especially her time at the Senior Center, Garden Club, Granny’s Attic and the Parkinson’s

Support Group.

Her legacy of strength and independence continues on through the lives of her sister, Patricia

Vilks (Dietz) of Gold Hill, Oregon; two adoring daughters, Elizabeth Parrish (John Rees) of

Vashon, WA and Heather Parrish (Shaunn McClellan) of Lynnwood, WA; as well as two loving

granddaughters, Josie Parrish and Aiden Rees. She has gone on to join her parents, brother,

James J. Walsh, and her son John in heaven.

BJ’s memory lives on as all great mothers, friends and gardeners do. Those who knew and loved

her will always remember her sparkling blue eyes, love of gardening and wonderful St. Patrick’s

Day parties.

The family wishes to acknowledge the incredible care she received over the years from Brigitte

Webb, Sissel Johannessen, Susie Lester, Jennifer Johnson, Gay Rosser, the Vashon Community

Care Staff and Providence Hospice team.

Memorial donations can be made to The Arboretum Foundation, or the Vashon Community Care Foundation,

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