Mom’s Memorial Program

On July 18, 2017, my mother Marsha died. I got to see her the night before before she passed, although she was barely responsive.

At the time I was exactly halfway through rehearsals for a production of “Hedda Gabler”, but we were on a short rehearsal break for a few days. Mom’s timing was often extremely good.

A month later, we held a memorial service at her church. The folks at Dinuba Christian were wonderful and so supportive.


The program copy from the service:

Program of Service:

In Loving Memory

Marsha Lynn Parish Kelly

November 14, 1949 – July 18, 2017

Dinuba Christian Church

355 E Saginaw, Dinuba, CA

Pastor Jim Susee, Officiating


On Tuesday, July 18, 2017, Marsha Parish Kelly passed away at the age of 67 at her home in Dinuba after a long illness.

Marsha was the daughter of Howard and LaVerne Smith of Dinuba and step-daughter of Don Freet. She graduated from Dinuba High School (’67) and earned nursing degrees from College of the Sequoias and Pacific Union College. A practicing nurse at Kaweah Delta Hospital for her entire career, Marsha was one of the first nurses to work in the heart and vascular center in Visalia. Marsha will be remembered for her love of nursing, her beautiful singing, her contagious laugh and her deep faith.

Marsha will be lovingly remembered by her husband Larry Kelly, son Matthew Parish and wife Virginia, daughter Heather Parish and husband Jaguar Bennett, brother and sister-in-law Greg and Renella Smith, nephew and niece Tim and Leeanna Smith, and many family and friends.

Program of Service

Musical Prelude : “Fly Like a Bird” by Robert Kochis

Opening Words of Grace: Pastor Jim Susee


Obituary and Pastor’s Reflection: Pastor Jim Susee

Special Tribute and Song: Larry Kelly, Marsha’s husband

Eulogy: Gregory Smith, Marsha’s brother

Scripture Reading: Heather Parish, Marsha’s daughter
Old Testament: Psalm 46:1-3
New Testament: Philippians 4:4-7

Eulogy: Heather Parish

Reflections from family and friends (2 minutes, please)

Musical Interlude: “It is Well With My Soul,” sung by Sandi Patty

Prayer and Benediction: Pastor Jim Susee


 A few of Marsha’s favorite Bible verses

Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
Matthew 7:20

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Galatians 5:22-23

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful,  for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:3-10

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”
John 14-23

It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Acts 20:35

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Romans 5:3-5


Favorite hymns:

I will Enter His Gates (He has made me glad), written by Leona Von Brethorst (1976)

It is Well with My Soul, written by Horatio Gates Spafford (1873)


Prayer mantra: “In His peace, I release.”



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