Belia Herrera Parrish, a longtime resident of Tipp City, died January 24, 2022, after a brave battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 84.
Born July 19, 1937, in Montpelier, Vermont, Belia moved as a toddler with her family to Elberton, Georgia, where she graduated from Elberton High School in 1955. Elberton is also where she met the pastor of her small, country church, the Reverend Ernie L. Parrish, who would become her husband of 46 years. His ministry with the Lutheran Church took them to Newport, Tennessee, then Richmond, Indiana, before they settled in Tipp City in 1971.
In 1974, Belia began a 25-year career with the Tipp City schools, where she provided administrative support in the media department. Her duties required her to “make the rounds” daily to the Board Office and schools throughout the system. Interacting with so many colleagues—many of whom became life-long friends—was perhaps the job’s biggest perk for her.
Raised in a Spanish-speaking home, Belia spent her fifth-grade school year in Santander, Spain, her parents’ city of origin. She used her language skills throughout life, working for the Tipp City schools’ summer outreach program for migrant families in the area. Even late in life, she enjoyed chatting with the Spanish-speaking staff of the residence where she lived.
Belia is survived by her daughters, Elizabeth Parrish of Tarragona, Spain, and Margaret Parrish, of New York City; a granddaughter, Dr. Sarah Van der Elst, of New York; and a grandson, Marc Cassellas, of Tarragona.
She was predeceased by her beloved husband, Ernie; parents Florentino Herrera Gómez and Vincenta Torcida Jiménez; and an infant sister, Paquita.
A Celebration of Life is planned for Friday, April 29, 2022 at the Zion Lutheran Church, 14 W. Walnut St., Tipp City, Ohio 45371: visitation will be at 10:00 AM, with a memorial service at 11:00 AM. A reception will follow immediately afterward.
Memorial contributions may be made in Belia’s name to Zion Lutheran Church (ziontippcity.org) or Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Elberton (elbertonlutheranchurch.org). Arrangements have been entrusted to Frings and Bayliff Funeral Home, Tipp City.
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