Marcia Ann Parrish McKay
In Memory of
Marcia Ann
Parrish McKay
1953 - 2022
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Obituary for Marcia Ann Parrish McKay

Marcia Ann  Parrish McKay
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8)

Marcia Ann Parrish was born in Starkville, Mississippi, on February 9, 1953. She entered her heavenly rest on July 23, 2022.

Marcia’s parents were Carl Stuart Parrish and Era Maurice Oswalt. Her grandparents were Joseph Norwood Parrish and Annie Myrtle Parrish, and John Hays Oswalt and Emma Sue Reagan. Marcia grew up on her parents’ large farm between Sessums and Crawford, Mississippi, the place where she loved to explore, fish, ride horses, and spend time with her parents, siblings and friends. She attended Bethesda Baptist Church as a child and made her profession of faith in Jesus Christ there and was baptized. She attended Artesia Baptist Church with her family as she grew older.

Marcia’s life can be characterized by a heart of service. Her life was centered on being a follower of Jesus Christ and his example. Jesus said, I came not to be served, but to serve, and to give my life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28). In the same way, Marcia gave herself in service to her family, to her friends, to her students, and to her church. She especially loved and served her family. She was a great cook and enjoyed preparing for family gatherings and then ensuring everyone was served and comfortable. She loved people and was incredibly discerning, perceptive, and sensitive to others, and as a result, she put others and their needs before herself. She was faithful, diligent, patient, kind, humble, gentle, giving, and forgiving.

Marcia attended public schools in Starkville, Mississippi. She graduated from Starkville High School in 1971 and then graduated from Mississippi State University in 1974 with a degree in Special Education. She was teaching school in Maben, Mississippi, when she met Roy McKay from Lamesa, Texas, fell in love, and married on May 28, 1976, at Artesia Baptist Church. God blessed their union with two fine sons: Joshua Parrish McKay and Matthew Jared McKay. They were married in love for forty-six years.

Marcia was called to serve and was actively involved in ministry alongside her husband. She was willing to go wherever God called. A few months after they married, she went with her husband to New Orleans where he pursued training for the ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and she taught special education/autistic in Marrero LA. From there, they entered a life of service together for the Kingdom of God in many places.

At the churches where they served, Marcia developed a reputation as an excellent pastor’s wife. She was willing to do whatever was necessary to serve God’s people. Marcia was a faithful part of the choir, the women’s groups, and the prayer groups. She helped the other women in the kitchen and did whatever else she could to serve. She taught children or senior adult women in Sunday school and enjoyed teaching Vacation Bible School.

In 1983 the McKays were called to missions and pursued appointment with the International Mission Board, SBC, Richmond VA. They were commissioned as missionaries in October 1983. Their first assignment was in church planting in the Philippines. Marcia learned the Ilocano language and managed the household well in a cross-cultural environment. She taught Joshua at home in grades K to 3 and taught Bible studies to local women and children as well as helping with planting new churches.

In 1989 the McKays accepted reassignment to Germany where Marcia managed a major adjustment to a second culture and learned to speak German. Again, she managed the family and household well while her husband traveled. Also, Marcia was certified in the LAMP method and taught special reading skills at Black Forest Academy, Kandern, Germany.

After ten years overseas, the McKays returned to Starkville in 1994 where Marcia taught homebound special ed students and loved her job. Again, she adjusted as her husband was called to be pastor in Montgomery AL, where she homeschooled Matthew, and later she taught high school special education in Millbrook. When her husband was called to a church in Columbus MS, Marcia adjusted once more and taught autistic children at Ward Stewart Elementary in Starkville. Finally, when her husband was called to First Baptist Church, Aberdeen, Marcia taught special education at Nettleton Public Schools.

Marcia was preceded in death by her parents, her son Joshua, and her brother Carl Parrish Jr. (Nannette). Those who anticipate their heavenly reunion with her are her husband Roy, her son Matthew, his wife Hannah, and four beautiful grandchildren. Also remaining are her sisters Donna Norris (Jimmy), Lisa Turner (Nathan), and Cindy Dorosh, her uncle Wesley Morris Parrish (Sok), plus nephews, nieces, and many cousins.

Funeral services will be held in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church, Starkville, on Saturday, July 30, at 2:00 pm. Visitation will precede the funeral service from 1:00 to 2:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to First Baptist Church, Starkville (, the International Mission Board, SBC, Richmond VA (, or Alzheimer’s Disease Research (
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