Charlotte Wiseman Parish passed away peacefully on August 26th with her family by her side at her Tullahoma home “The Barn”, the same property where the Wiseman dairy farm was once her family’s thriving business.
Charlotte was born on the 19th of July 1937 in Tullahoma, TN to Ollie and Mamye Wiseman. She attended South Jackson Elementary, Tullahoma High School, and The University of Tennessee.
Charlotte was accomplished in so many ways, although many would never know her talents. In one sense, accomplishment is measured by what a person did and in another by who a person was. Charlotte’s focus was on the who rather than the what. She would rather be remembered by who she was rather than what she did. She centered her talents and her love on who she helped and who she supported. But in both, Charlotte lived a remarkable life.
She acquired a love for music from her mother who taught her piano. She went on to become an accomplished pianist, majored in music at UT, played the organ at church, and taught piano well into her adult years. She was a high school majorette and, like her music, carried her talents to UT where she was a majorette for the UT marching band. She continued her involvement with The University of Tennessee as a member of the UT Board of Trust from 1979-1987. Outside of her University, she had many other passions. She was a member and past president of the Shady Grove Garden Club and nurtured her flowers in her greenhouse and grounds around her home. She was active in St. Barnabas Episcopal Church and an active member of P.E.O. for many years. Charlotte was an accomplished pilot earning her private pilot certificate, multi-engine, and seaplane ratings. She was a long-time member of the women’s flying organization The 99’s and a life member of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) where she served as a volunteer chairman and host of women’s activities at Oshkosh Airventure. She was a founding member and Merit Award recipient of the Beechcraft Heritage Museum.
It is certain to say, however, that Charlotte’s greatest purpose was her husband and family. Charlotte and John Lannom Parish Sr. met in the first grade, were voted Best All Around girl and boy in high school, but did not begin dating until their third year in college. What began as a friendship in grade school grew into a 62 year-long marriage. Together, they supported one another and lived a remarkable life. She served as the support, balance, and anchor to the family. Through the years, their relationship was in harmony. They had a perfect understanding of one another and approached life in a way that simply worked. They built a business together, traveled the world, and raised four children. In their later years, Charlotte and John spent much of their time at their home in Ely, MN and Bending Lake Canada exploring the great north woods by seaplane and entertaining their many friends.
Charlotte is survived by her husband, John Lannom Parish Sr. as well as four children, Charles Lannom Parish (Rebecca McCool), Robert McCrary Parish (Jennifer), John Lannom Parish Jr. (Ann), and Gaither Parish Byrd (John). Grandchildren Robert “Mac” Parish Jr (USMC), Will Parish, Madeline Parish of Knoxville, TN, John Parish III, Allie Parish of St. Louis, MO, Jack Byrd of Dallas, TX, Mackenzie Byrd, Nicole Byrd, and Catherine Byrd of Brentwood, TN.
Charlotte’s high school senior yearbook quote sums up her enthusiastic approach to life. It reads “Anything worth having is worth working for” and work she did. Those who knew Charlotte knew she was never about acclaim or about bringing attention to herself. Her definition of work was to play the best supporting role that she possibly could. Charlotte departed her life on earth in the same way she lived, with grace. Her work is done and her life well lived.
Private services are to be held. Memorial donations may be made to:
Lannom Public Library 312 N. Collins St. Tullahoma TN 37388
Beechcraft Heritage Museum P.O. Box 550 Tullahoma, TN 37388
If you choose to send flowers, please have them delivered to the Beechcraft Heritage Museum by 11:00 am Tuesday, August 30.