Woman was a champion for youth

2013-04-04T00:00:00Z Woman was a champion for youthCHARLES F. HABER Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
April 04, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Marie Parrish was not just a guiding force for her children, but for all young people she ever encountered.

"She taught my brother and I to be strong young men, to stand up for what's right," said her son, Roland Parrish.

She did not mean for them to be intimidating, but to simply speak out when encountering injustice, her son said.

Marie Alice Jones Parrish, who preferred to never disclose her age, died Dec. 31.

Roland also said his mother taught her sons never to steal.

She would say, "If you want something, get a job and go to work," Roland Parrish recalled.

She instilled a strong work ethic in both brothers, including John H. Parrish, Jr., who died last year.

Roland said his brother's co-workers at Lever Brothers admired him as a hard worker for which no job was too dirty.

Marie Parrish and her late husband, the Rev. John Henry Parrish Sr., made a wonderful team.

"They were real key elements in the Hammond community," said Keith Speaks, director of Neighborhoods Inc. of Hammond.

Roland Parrish said his mother always supported her husband, who was a city councilman. Both were members of the NAACP.

She also wrote a newspaper column for The Gary American, called “Hammond Briefs.” It focused on the church and on social life in East Hammond.

She loved to cook for family and friends, Roland Parrish said.

"If you stopped by, she was going to have a pie or cake to share with you."

She enjoyed being a school crossing guard because it enabled her to give council to the kids.

"She cared about the youth" and always wanted to give them an opportunity to do something, her son said.

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