Cover photo for Carol West Parham's Obituary
Carol West Parham Profile Photo
1965 Carol 2023

Carol West Parham

January 30, 1965 — March 28, 2023

Carol Anne West Parham was born in Dyersburg to G. Wendell and Etta Rumley West on January 30, 1965. Rhonda (Donnie) Ivey quickly took on the big sister role by holding her and loving on her while Etta prepared the bottles. They spent many hours on Civitan trips, summer vacations to Fort Walton, and weekends with Fat Mama and Daddy Robert, Granny and Papaw. At Granny and Papaws many summer days were spent with cousins Cynthia, Sharon, Chris, Bret (Julie), and Joel. Most of their childhood memories are shared with their cousin, who was more like a sister, Angela (Kenny) Brunson. She loved Kenny and Angela’s girls Missy (Jeff) Joy, Magen (Alex) McCulloch, and Mallory (Ty) Weeks as her own and spoiled them with chocolate chip cookies and back rubs as much as possible.

She had a core group of friends growing up that she had many fun times with - some of those times could never be shared with Etta and Wendell. Carol had the ability to make everyone feel like they were the most important person in the room. She said she learned this from her Aunt Gwen. Although she had many good qualities, driving or figuring out how to get there was not among them. She was also a bit clumsy, and once in high school where she and Sherri Glover were lab partners, she had to be put by the window because she kept spilling chemicals causing bad reactions. Mr. Martin said after the incident that ended in catching Sherri’s football jersey ablaze, that he needed a fire retardant hazmat suit to teach her.

After high school, she attended Florida College and then moved to Florence, Alabama, where Rhonda and Donnie lived. They made many fond memories over shared meals as she finished up her degree at the University of North Alabama. When she returned to Dyersburg she ran the switchboard at Colonial Rubber Works where she met Mark Reagan, who gave her two beautiful children- Danielle (Guillo) Torres and Ian Reagan.

Eventually, life led her to Crestview, Florida where she was married to her soulmate, Jay Parham. Jay’s children Mitch (Casey) Parham and Krissy (Chris) Halbert quickly became hers, too, and it is there in Crestview that they built their life and raised their family. She and Jay loved to spend time on the beach, at the river, and enjoyed the simple things together like spending time on their back porch. They kept the roads busy traveling back to Tennessee as they watched Ian flourish in college where he met his long-term girlfriend Maya Longacre. Her children were the light of her life, and she loved them all unconditionally. She also loved her extended family, Pam and her late husband Don and their children, Billy, Wesley, and Lily, Joe and Connie Parham and their son, Josh, and Jay’s stepmother, Dorothy. She spent many vacations with them, most recently celebrating Jay’s 60th birthday.

Carol taught Intensive Language Arts at Davidson Middle School where she made lifelong friends that became more like family. She won Teacher of the Year for 2008-2009 and was adored by her students who would continue to visit her even years after their time in her classroom. To further prove her commitment to education, Carol returned to college and completed her Master of Arts Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of West Florida. She wasn’t motivated by accolades; seeing her students succeed was all the reward she needed.

For more than a decade she found joy in being Oma to Danielle and Guillo’s girls, Sophia, Brielle, and Sadie, Mitch and Casey’s daughter, Harper, Magen and Alex’s kids, Emmett, Gwen, and Shepherd, and Mallory and Ty’s kids, Brett and Madeline. Krissy was able to share the good news with her before she passed away that she was going to be Oma once again to baby Halbert in October. The kids loved to visit their Oma who always had a surprise, a craft, and a gourmet pop tart waiting for them upon their arrival.

Her legacy is how well she loved her people. She told them every chance she got. She brought everyone together, hugged and kissed them, and made everyone feel welcome and special. We can all honor her by making sure that we continue to love others as she loved us.

Once she found out she had cancer, she made a plan to go to MD Anderson, and we all know Carol made plans and did not deviate from them. Unfortunately, COVID had other plans, and she lost her valiant fight against COVID pneumonia and cancer on March 28th, 2023 at the University of Texas Medical Branch in League City. She passed quickly and peacefully surrounded by her loved ones.

She was preceded in death by her parents, and one of our deepest regrets is that none of them will be here to see Ian graduate from law school in a couple of months. We know that they were so incredibly proud of him and all of his accomplishments and wanted to be there more than anything.

Carol loved to read and encouraged her students to fall in love with books. To honor her, in lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library https://donate.imaginationlibrary.com

We really wish Carol would have written this herself because it took us a long time, and she could have done a much better job. Please excuse any grammatical errors. She was our proofreader, paper writer, “phone a friend” trivia extraordinaire, exceptional crossword puzzle partner, family historian, laundry queen, secret keeper, baby rocker, chocolate lover, and moral compass, and we will miss her so much.

Memorial services will be held in Crestview, Florida, at Davis Watkins Funeral Home on April 6th at 6:00 p.m.

Memorial services will be held in Dyersburg, Tennessee at Curry Funeral Home on April 15th. Visitation will begin at 1 p.m. with the service beginning at 2 p.m.

We are privileged and honored to serve the Parham family. You may share your condolences and your memories with the family at www.curryfuneral.com.


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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Visitation

Saturday, April 15, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Chapel of Curry Funeral Home

1984 St John Ave, Dyersburg, TN 38024

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