Janet Parrish Seay
Rev. Janet Parrish Seay died May 13, 2018 at home in Chesapeake, VA surrounded by family and holding her husband’s hand. She overcame numerous personal challenges throughout her lifetime, including a successful fight with cancer over 40 years ago. After an 18-month battle, she finally succumbed to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (also known as NASH, a fatty liver disease.)
Jan was born in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 6, 1950 (her father’s birthday) to the late Frank O. Parrish and the late Helen Fielding Parrish. She was also preceded in death by a special uncle and aunt, John Lewis Parrish and Stella Mayo Parrish, and her father-in-law Harold R. Seay. Jan is survived by her husband of nearly 37 years, Donald R. Seay of Chesapeake, Virginia; son Andrew R. Seay and girlfriend Sarita Wescott, both of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; son Adam P. Seay of Chesapeake, Virginia; brother Donald F. Parrish and his wife Gaynel of Durham, North Carolina mother-in-law Rachel Skinnell Seay of Altavista, Virginia; brother-in-law William C. Seay and his wife Ella, of Altavista, Virginia; and brother-in-law Freddie A. Seay of Lewisville, Texas. Jan was a 1968 graduate of Fluvanna High School 1968, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from James Madison University in 1972, and a Master of Divinity degree from Eastern Mennonite Seminary in 1980. She maintained her Virginia teacher’s certificate throughout her lifetime, taking classes at various colleges and universities.
In 1981, Jan became the 25th woman ordained an elder in full connection in the Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Jan pastored United Methodist churches on the Harrisonburg and Charlottesville districts from 1980 to 1987. Jan was involved with church camps during these years, and for several years while on the Charlottesville district, served as director of the district’s summer youth camp. Jan was also a reader consultant to the 1989 United Methodist hymnal revision committee.
In 1987, Jan left the full-time pastorate, taking a leave of absence to care for her immediate and extended family. For several years during this stage of her life, she worked in the office of Camp Friendship in Palmyra, VA as a registrar and scheduler. She eventually transitioned from leave of absence to honorable location and retired from the ministry with that status.
Jan and her family relocated from Palmyra, Virginia to Chesapeake, Virginia in 1996. Jan had taught elementary school for several years after graduating from James Madison University and resumed that career with Chesapeake Public Schools in 2002, eventually retiring in 2012. All those teaching years were spent at Western Branch Intermediate School as a fifth-grade teacher of math, science, and social studies.
In addition to pastoring and teaching, Jan was skilled in the design and construction of quilted items, primarily bedspreads and wall hangings; her creations adorn the beds and walls of her home. She also taught quilting classes in Charlottesville and sold quilted items at local craft shows. Jan loved beach and mountain vacations and was often reluctant to go home, extending those vacations at the last minute when possible. She loved to read and especially enjoyed the time spent at her brother’s lake house.
A memorial service celebrating Jan’s life will be conducted on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at 2 PM in the R. W. Baker & Co. Funeral Home and Crematory, 509 W. Washington St. Suffolk VA 23434. (casual attire suggested). The family will receive friends starting at 1 PM in the funeral home prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the United Methodist Committee on Relief, https://www.umcor.org/UMCOR/Donate, the American Cancer Society, https://donate3.cancer.org, or a charity of your choice. Condolences may be registered at RWBakerFH.com
R.W. Baker & Co.
509 W. WASHINGTON STREET
SUFFOLK, VA 23434
R.W. Baker & Co.
509 W Washington St
Suffolk, VA 23434-5701