Barbara Parrish McMahan
Barbara Parrish McMahan passed away peacefully under Hospice Care at St. Joseph Hospital - Harrodsburg Rd. on Sunday, March 15, 2020. She was born October 30, 1932 to W.D. Parrish, DMD, and Lillian McMurtry Parrish in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. She was a graduate of E-town High School. As a majorette and cheerleader there, she met and married her high school sweetheart, Charles Monroe McMahan in June of 1950.
Barbara had a natural talent for decorating and the arts. She saw the world through her art, gardening, music, her home and books. Decorating and remodeling several homes, she taught herself to upholster, sew, wallpaper & had a natural talent for painting. This provided warmth and hospitality for numerous gatherings for friends and family. To quote her sister-in-law, "She could make a silk purse out of a pig's ear." Always wanting to learn, she attended a portrait painting class at E-town Community College. She found much joy in painting, family, nature and flowers.
For 15 years, she worked at the Juvenile Division of District Court in Hardin County. She was often asked to paint the portraits of the retiring judges and draw the composite sketches for criminal searches. Upon retiring, Barbara put on a hooped skirt and volunteered at Whitehall Historic State site in Richmond. There she baked biscuits over the open fire along with giving historical tours.
In 2011, she was diagnosed with cancer and beat her odds of survival. With family in Texas, her treatment required travel to and from MD Anderson. She fought hard and never ever gave up or complained. She loved meeting people, treasuring old and new friends. She had so much left she wanted to do.....and so many books to read!
Barbara is survived by six children, Patricia Kay (Greg) Lackey of Sante Fe, TX, Nan Kathryn (Bob) Sellin of Lexington, KY, Thomas Monroe (Tina) McMahan of Lexington, KY, Julie Anne Malear of Ridgecrest, CA, Dana Susan (David) Breitenstein of Louisville and Elizabeth Jill Parrish Howell of Lexington. She had twelve grandchildren, Beth Lackey of Boulder, CO, Sr. Chief Master SGT Joshua Lackey of Destin, FL, Morgan Miller of Lexington, KY, Ross McMahan of Lexington, KY, Lauren DiMartino of Lexington, KY, Matthew Taylor, of Ridgecrest, CA, Michelle Taylor, of Ridgecrest, CA, Thomas Taylor, of Ridgecrest, CA, Bryce Howell of Lexington, KY Rachel Breitenstein, of Louisville, KY, Schylar Breitenstein, of Louisville, KY and Keeley Breitenstein, of Louisville, KY, nine great-grandchildren: Kirsten, Katie, Jack, Jonathon, Kylie, Madison, Aiden, Joey, Lillie and several nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends.
She was preceded in death by her son, Charles Monroe McMahan, Jr., one sister, Patricia Johnson and two angels, her grandchildren: Braden, and Greg Jr.
A Memorial Service will be conducted at 6:00 PM Friday, March 20, 2020 at Combs, Parsons & Collins Funeral Home with Rev. Bruce Nettleton officiating.
Visitation will be from 4:00 - 6:00 PM Friday at funeral home. The family suggests, under current government restrictions, that you use discretion.
Published on March 17, 2020


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Joseph Chaudoin
Mar 21, 2020
The last time I saw Aunt Barbara Mac was a few years ago at Uncle Bobby’s house. When I walked up to say hi, I said “pretty as ever”, which she was, the thing I most remembered that I thought about her when I was a kid. She responded with a big smile. I also remember her beautiful children, all dressed up for Easter and bounding down the front porch steps like a bunch of kids that just got turned loose on a sunny spring day . Just a couple of memorable moments experienced by cousin Joe. Aunt Barbara was a beautiful person, I liked her a lot.
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Mar 19, 2020
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Rob, Christina, Jen, Mike, Matt, Amy, Shelly, Dick
Mar 18, 2020
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