Martha Parish

FARMER CITY, IL – Martha Jane (Downs) Parish of Farmer City, IL passed peacefully on Jan. 17, 2021 at Carle Foundation Hospital in Champaign, IL.

Martha was born on June 5, 1947 in Millfield, OH to John Downs and Vera (McBride) Downs. She graduated from Glouster High School in Glouster, OH.

In 1971, Martha married the love of her life, James (Jim) Parish, with whom she had three children. Martha’s greatest joy in life was spending time with family, especially her grandchildren. Her other passions included birdwatching, gardening and traveling to New England with her husband Jim to visit light houses and enjoy fresh seafood.

Prior to her retirement in 2009, Martha worked for 17 years as an administrative aid in the School of Music at Ohio University where she was recognized for her commitment to the students through the granting of an honorary membership in Kappa Kappa Psi national band fraternity and the Alpha Kappa Musical Awareness Award.

Martha was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, Jack, Tom and Dick; and her sister, Cindy.

She is survived by her loving husband, Jim; as well as her daughter, Erin (Kevin) Parish-Meyer; sons, Todd and Tracy (Michael) Parish; and grandchildren, Seamus Parish-Meyer and Lyla Jane Parish-Foellmer.

Due to the pandemic, no memorial services are planned. In lieu of flowers, a memorial gift can be made to Ohio University’s “Martha J. Parish Undergraduate Music Scholarship.” To give online, go to, click “Give Now,” select “College of Fine Arts,” and then select the “Martha J. Parish Undergraduate Music Scholarship.” Donations by check should be made payable to the Ohio University Foundation and note “Martha J. Parish Undergraduate Music Scholarship” in the memo line. Send checks to Ohio University Foundation, PO Box 869, Athens, OH 45701.

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