Kimberly Jean Parrish
Kimberly "Kim" Jean Parrish, 51, of El Dorado Springs, passed from this life at 3:02 a.m., Monday, July 13, 2015, at Barton County Memorial Hospital in Lamar, Mo., after fighting the battle with cancer for more than 2 and 1/2 years. She was born on Oct. 10, 1963, in Kansas City, Mo., the daughter of Eugene "Gene" Charles and Bonnie Jean (Amick) Harms.
Kim attended kindergarten in Kansas City, Mo., while her father worked for General Motors and farmed on the weekends. Her family then moved to Schell City in 1971 to begin farming full time. Kim attended school at Schell City as a first grader until graduating with the Schell City High School class of 1982. While living in Schell City, Kim spent most days as a child outside on the farm going to the creek or pond with her older sister Karen or helping her dad out in the fields. She raised bottle calves through a cow she named Priscilla. She used the money she made to pay for her first car in cash.
Kim always had an interest for nursing beginning at a young age. She worked at multiple nursing homes and hospitals around the area while in high school including Appleton City and El Dorado Springs. From high school Kim pursued a degree in nursing beginning at Avila in Kansas City from 1982-83, followed by MSSU in Joplin from 1983-84, and then finally graduating with her associates degree in nursing on May 9, 1986, from Labette Community College in Parsons, Kan. She took her state board nursing exam in July 1986 and became a Registered Nurse. Kim would later further her education by getting her bachelor of science in nursing from the University of Kansas in 1991.
On Oct. 7, 1989, Kim was married to Jeffrey Michael Klenklen, of Independence, Mo., at St. Mary's Catholic Church. To this union, a daughter, Kelsey Elizabeth, was born on Aug. 7, 1992. They lived in the Blue Springs area for 8 years while Kim worked at Independence Regional as a registered nurse in surgery. As a family they enjoyed taking many vacations and traveling frequently. They would often travel to Schell City on the weekends to visit Kim's family. These weekends usually consisted of dancing, dinner at JT Maloney's and attending many, many auctions. Schell City is where Kelsey developed the name "Little Kim" due to her identical appearance to her mother.
Later on, Kim was married to Jeffrey Lynn Parrish, of El Dorado Springs, on March 2, 2002. To this union, a son, Cameron Albert, was born on Sept. 9, 2002. Having Camicans (as she liked to call him) at the age of 39 seemed to give Kim a chance to be young again. As a family, they enjoyed four-wheeling and spending time on the farm and with family. Kim worked as a registered nurse in surgery at Barton County Memorial Hospital for 13 years. She was an amazing care giver, co-worker and friend to many there. Anyone that saw her home in Montevallo could tell how much Kim loved landscaping and gardening. On numerous occasions, complete strangers would stop by the house just to compliment her on the yard. Most of her landscaping was done with large, flat rocks that she found around the Montevallo area. It was impossible for her to drive past a rock that could possibly be used in her landscaping. She would slam on her brakes and go load it up in the back of her car.
Kim was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer in December of 2012 at the age of 49. Although often assumed, Kim was never a smoker. She was then accepted and began receiving care at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, in early 2013. There she had proton radiation and chemotherapy over the span of six weeks. During this time, a woman by the name of Kathy Clowers allowed Kim to stay in her home for free while she received her treatment. The treatment resulted in remission of her cancer by May of 2013. However, in November of 2013, she developed a headache. This prompted her to get a CT scan of the head that revealed brain metastasis from the lung. She was initially given six months to live. Kim then went through numerous radiation and surgical interventions. Kim had an amazing neurosurgery team at both Mercy, in Springfield, and at M.D. Anderson, in Houston. Ganesh Rao, M.D., along with Cheryl Keenan, A.P.N., and Sami Khoshyomn, M.D, along with Amanda Vance, F.N.P., were truly selected by the hand of God to be her caregivers through this time.
Even after Kim was given her poor prognosis, she never complained, she never gave up, she remained completely selfless and she kept living her life. She was extraordinarily strong throughout the entire journey. Anytime she was asked about her health or how she was doing she would always reply with, "Doing just fine, how about you?" One of the hardest things for her, was when she was no longer able to work. She always joked with her daughter they needed to start up a business to keep her busy while she was home. Kim accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior and was baptized on Dec. 8, 2013, at Walker Christian Church. She enjoyed listening to christian rock music and watching Joel Osteen. One of her favorite quotes was, "Dear God, thank you for this beautiful life and please, forgive me, if I don't love it enough."
We were blessed to learn many valuable lessons from Kim during her short 51 years on this earth, among them: Eating chicken strips and a loaded baked potato from Cheddar's for any meal of the day is always acceptable. Even if it's twice in one day. Sometimes you just need to do the Chinese fire drill with your children in the middle of the road while listening to an upbeat Mexican salsa song. Sometimes you also need to jam to "Bad to the Bone," with the windows down, singing as loud as you can and yell "whew" at random people walking down the street. How to use curse words in so many ways you never knew were possible. How to hold on to christmas ornaments your entire life, because you can never have too many snowman decorations. Repeating to your daughter, "It's their life and they gotta live it" more than 500 times within 22 years will finally begin to stick in her mind. Said daughter will then catch herself saying this phrase to her friends. You can never watch too much HGTV, Long Island Medium, The Little Couple, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives or anything else on the Food Network channel (against her daughter's advice, even Barefoot Contessa and Pioneer Woman). It is possible to nearly average hitting one deer per year. You can be the "skinny mom" at your daughter's graduation with hard work and dedication. No matter what setting you are in, it is ok to use cousin Eddie's line, "The 'crapper's' full." Anytime you hit over 80 MPH, you can just use the excuse, "I'm just trying to get the cobwebs out!" You could always count on hearing the phrase, "While you're up..." anytime you got up from any sitting position in the living room. Mountain Dew is the best drink ever made. And last, but certainly not least, if you're driving a tractor, it better be green.
Her spirit is carried on by her husband, Jeff Parrish, and son, Cameron Parrish, of the home in El Dorado Springs; daughter, Kelsey Klenklen, of Springfield; her sister, Karen Hutchison, of Walker; two nieces, Amanda Eaton and husband, Shawn, of Walker, and Leslie Gayman and husband, Micah, of Schell City; great-nieces and -nephews, Sarina, Kimber and Ruger Eaton, and Joey, Jeremy, Heidi and Natalie Gayman; her uncle, Bill Amick and wife, Janice, of El Dorado Springs; her aunt, Ruth Ijams, of Schell City; her mother-in-law, Anna Parrish, of El Dorado Springs; along with an extended family of relations and numerous friends from every walk of life.
Kim is now reunited with both of her parents, Bonnie and Gene Harms along with her great-grandmother, Georgia (Smith) Amick.
Services for Kimberly Jean Parrish were at 11 a.m., Thursday, July 16, at the Church of God Holiness, in El Dorado Springs, with Norman Conklin and Grady Davis officiating. Pallbearers were Kevin Bell, Micah Gayman, Shawn Eaton, Dave Ferguson, Dylan Timmerman, Bobby Haddix and Larry Harms. Burial was at Virgil City Cemetery under the direction of Lewis-Hoagland Funeral Home.
It was a true gift from God that I was given warning 20 months ago to begin preparing for the day you would go to heaven. I am so profoundly grateful for that time that I had to grow with and learn from you. Although now I know there never could have been enough time with you. I truly believe that God led me to pursue a future in medicine so that I would be better prepared to help take care of you and your medical needs. I hope that I made you proud and helped take care of you the best I could when you were no longer able to. I would be honored to receive half of the amazing qualities that you had. Your strength through all of this has been nothing short of impeccable. I hope that I hold that same strength and am able to make you proud throughout the rest of my life. Nothing makes me happier than knowing that you are now in Heaven and are free from this illness. I love you mom, more than you could have ever fathomed.
Kelsey Elizabeth Jean Klenklen