Adalheid M. “Heidi” Parrish passed away on February 25, 2019 at the Oregon Veterans’ Home in The Dalles, Oregon. She went by Heidi, whom many of you knew her by. She was born April 28, 1935 in Ramberg, Germany to Maria and Henry Herty. She joined siblings Elly, Willy, and Gertrude. Her youngest siblings, Lisle and Linda, passed away as babies from German measles and mushroom poisoning.
Heidi had an eighth grade education. She always told many stories of her papa working in the woods, cutting down wood, hunting, and foraging for mushrooms and berries. She grew up during WWII and did not have much knowledge about the war other than when her village was bombed. The family had to find other water sources to drink and food was rationed. They mainly grew their own food, canned, hunted, made sausages and dried meats. Like many Germans, sauerkraut became a staple.
Her father was drafted into the war and shortly after the war ended, her mother passed away at the age of 38. After birthing eight children, her heart just gave out. With the passing of her mother, her father dedicated all of his time, when not working, to caring for his large family. He went from homebuilding in France to working in a nearby town factory to ensure they had enough food and clothes. Her oldest sister Elly took over cooking, cleaning and helping to raise the little ones. Heidi looked up to her big sister. Although they grew up very devout Catholic, her father often called them gangsters. Because they always wanted money and they ran everything.
When Heidi was about 15 years old, she started working in a small factory. She was never able to complete her education. This didn’t stop her, however. She would ride her bicycle everywhere. While working at the factory she met a lovely young man named Fritz, whom was the son of the factory owner. Nothing ever came of that relationship as he already had a girlfriend, so Heidi quit shortly afterwards. When she was 19, she went on to Stuttgart where her sister Elly worked. Elly was the main cook in a little Gasthaus. She taught Heidi how to cook and there she would mingle with Americans that would come in for beers and good German food. A couple years later while still working there, she met Bill…a blue eyed man that she says she fell in love with at first sight. They began getting to know each other and within a year, on April 14, 1961, they were married at the local courthouse in Stuggart.
Heidi and Bill traveled to many places around the world including Iran, America, Greece, and Spain. After 4 years of marriage, while living in Long Branch, New Jersey, Heidi gave birth to their son Bill Parrish Jr. When Bill Jr. was 2years old they moved to Tehran, Iran to be with Bill Sr. In fact Bill Jr’s first language was Iranian. Then almost 8 years later while in Weisbaden, Germany, Heidi gave birth to their second child, daughter Linda K. Parrish.
Heidi was the first and only women in her family to get a driver’s license. She taught herself English by watching television and she became a citizen of the United States…an accomplishment she was very proud of. Although she was proud of her German heritage, she was just as proud to be an American!
Bill and Heidi belonged to the VFW, the Legion, and enjoyed being members of a rock hunting club. Heidi was saved in the early 1980’s in a little Baptist church off Belmont Avenue in Hood River, OR. Many years later she recommitted with my brother and started attending the Seventh Day Adventist Churches in Hood River and White Salmon. Heidi enjoyed the people, the preaching and the singing of the many songs! She loved the Lord and was grateful to Him especially on car rides and taking in the scenic beauty or anything beautiful she saw in her travels. Heidi was a lover of all things nature, but she especially loved her flowers and garden! Heidi was a strong willed person, with very strong views about people and life, but was also very big hearted. Her son, Bill Jr., witnessed her generosity many times when she would hand out money to complete strangers. She helped and loved so many people and also touched so many!
Heidi is survived by her son William Parrish Jr. ; daughter Linda (Luis) Mendez; 3 great grandchildren Andreas Hurt, Andrea Mendez and Isaiah Mendez; Rosie the cat!; and her beloved family in Germany.
A viewing will be held at 12:00 pm Friday March 8, 2019. A service and reception will follow at 1:00 pm and 2:00pm respectively at Anderson’s Tribute Center (1401 Belmont Ave Hood River, OR 97031). Inurnment will be private at Pine Grove Butte Cemetery.
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson's Tribute Center (Funerals • Receptions • Cremations) 1401 Belmont Avenue, Hood River, Oregon 97031. Visit www.AndersonsTributeCenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.