Surrounded by her beloved family, Carolyn Parchman passed away peacefully at home on October 23, 2018 after a courageous battle with cancer.
Carolyn was born in 1943 to Robert and Lillian Kimmerly. Her father, an Air Force pilot,
tragically died during a test flight just before the end of World War II, when Carolyn was only one. Her mother, known to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren as NuNu, passed away last year at the age of 97.
A native Texan, Carolyn lived almost her entire life in San Antonio, graduating from Alamo
Heights High School in 1961 and later attending the University of Arizona. She lived a life of simple grace, filled with family, friends, and her beloved and unusually large, rambunctious dogs. Although her life was quiet, she left an indelible footprint, making the world just a bit better for everyone she knew.
In 1987, she married her devoted husband, Otis Parchman, who was at her side at her passing. Otis and Carolyn, who had a keen eye for all things beautiful, owned one of the preeminent contemporary art galleries in San Antonio, the Parchman Stremmel gallery. She befriended many artists and loved working in the arts.
Carolyn worked hard to create a home that was beautiful, warm, and welcoming to family and friends alike. She was an accomplished cook, constantly reading cookbooks and perfecting her craft, much to the delight of her family and friends. Her family will especially miss the wonderful meals she would create during the holidays, and the hours of laughter and conversation spent while gathered in her kitchen and at her table.
She loved spending time in the mountains of northern New Mexico, where she had everything she could hope for — a beautiful home filled with art, a full kitchen, friends, family, and, of course, dogs. She created many wonderful memories in this home for her grandchildren, who spent weeks, sometimes months, with Carolyn in the summer, teaching them to cook, hiking, visiting Santa Fe and Taos, and riding horses.
Carolyn loved creating new traditions. There were so many! Although the family sometimes groused and complained, we will miss her presence playing silly games and opening new pajamas on Christmas Eve; having chicken and dumplings for Otis’s birthday; eating Ben & Jerry’s and Häagen-Dazs in the carton on the last day in New Mexico; and so on.
Carolyn was also active in many charitable endeavors. But she felt especially rewarded by her recent work training her Swiss Mountain dog, Bonnie, for work as a therapy dog. Together, they visited soldiers at the Wounded Warrior center and other hospitals, making a real difference in many of their lives.
She loved and was extremely proud of her three children, Jan Briley (and her husband, Len), Julie Howard, and Chad Jones (and his wife, Lee Ann), all of whom still live in San Antonio. They will miss her dearly, especially in her role as grandmother to their children. Carolyn fiercely loved her five living grandchildren, Cory Howard, Laura and Olivia Briley, and Wilson and J.T. Jones. She is also survived by her stepson, Mark Parchman; nephews, Travis Terrell, A.J. Terrell and A.J.’s family, Annabel, Sebastian, and Meghan; Carolyn had a special place in her heart for her namesake granddaughter, Grace Carolyn Briley, who preceeded her in death in 1998, taking solace in her final days that she would finally to get see Grace again.
Carolyn was a lifelong member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. A memorial service will be held there on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at 2 p.m. There will be a reception in Gosnell Hall immediately following. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the St. Mark’s Episcopal Church music program, or a charity of your choice.
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