In Memory of




Obituary for Thomas Lyons Parish

Georgia, VT – Thomas Lyons Parish, age 66, passed away unexpectedly at his home on February 28, 2023. He was born on December 14, 1956 in Trenton, NJ. Throughout his childhood, Tom and his family lived all over the northeast. His father’s work brought them to Levittown PA, Binghamton NY, Vestal NY, Endwell NY, Poughkeepsie NY, Rochester, MN and twice to Burlington VT. Tom graduated from Burlington High School in 1975 and obtained his Associates Degree in Business from Champlain College in 1984. It was here in Vermont that Tom put down his roots and met Katherine Ann Gratton. They married on June 15, 1985. Tom selflessly made Kathy’s dream of living out in the country to eventually own a horse come true. They settled in Georgia, VT where they raised their 3 children together: Holly, Andrew and Amanda.

Tom was a man of many hobbies and will be remembered for many things. In his younger years, he and his brother David would look forward to opening day of trout season on the Willoughby and Clyde rivers, even going as far as sleeping in the back of his truck one season to get an early start…brr! Tom and David also played in the IBM Men’s Hockey League on Monday nights that would take them the rest of the week to recover from! From grade school to college, he made a point to go to all of his children’s cross-country meets, soccer games and tennis matches. He also coached his son’s youth soccer team. The family recently found out that Tom saved old cross country bibs and handwritten stats of his daughter's cross country meets. Tom had a heart of gold and his family was his pride and joy. Tom loved researching Civil War history and especially enjoyed taking a trip to see the battlefields in Gettysburg. He had talked about going to Europe to visit some of the WWII battlefields. He read countless books on war history and collected memorabilia. Tom was also known to pay for a military veteran’s meal while at a restaurant. It was his way of saying “Thank you for your service.” One tradition that he will be missed the most at are the Sunday family dinners, where he would slave away all day in the kitchen, creating the most amazing meals he was so proud to serve and share. Everyone left the table “fat n happy.” “Have some more!” he'd say. He was a very skilled and creative cook. Tom was a private man and a “human encyclopedia.” When the children needed help with their homework, they could always count on him for help, which would often turn into a history lesson. He was the smartest man they knew. Tom was very thoughtful and generous. Even though the family would sometimes draw names for Christmas, Tom would break the rules and get a nice pair of earrings for each of “his girls.” He loved to see the joy on their faces looking at each unique piece he personally picked out for each one of them. He was not a fan of warm weather or large crowds so the family trips after the kids graduated college were spent in Maine or Cape Cod in the off-season. The family would spend time exploring the area and then head back to the rental home to just hang out and play games. Quality time spent together with his family was his favorite. Another fun hobby that Tom took up later in his life was recreational welding, where he would get scrap metal from wherever he could find it and make fun sculptures such as moose, a rooster, cats, turtles and mom’s favorite, hummingbirds. He would hang them on the garage and put them in the flower beds. They all now serve as a warm memory of his creativity and goofiness.

Tom is survived by his wife of 37 years, Katherine Parish, and his three children: Holly Parish of South Burlington, Andrew Parish of Georgia, and Amanda Toof and her husband Sean of Fairfax. Tom had one grandchild, Myra Ann Toof (19 months), whom he formed such an incredible bond with in their short time together. Tom is also survived by his brother David and his wife Gail of Colchester, and his brother Robert. He is also survived by his mother-in-law, Claire Gratton, of Winooski; brothers-in-law Ray Gratton and his wife Debbie of Hartford, CT, Allen Gratton and his wife Cindy of Winooski, Gary Gratton and his wife Maria of Colchester, and Randy Gratton and his wife Tammy of Milton; sisters-in law Terri Nolin of Colchester, and Julie Nolin and her husband Dan of Georgia; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and extended family. Tom will also be sorely missed by his close friends and next door neighbors, Ron Burns and Heather McNaughton. He was predeceased by his parents Floyd Parish and Amanda Parish, and his sister Nancy.

A celebration of Tom’s life will take place on a later date at the convenience of the family. Funeral services are in the hands of A.W. Rich Funeral Home in Fairfax. Messages of condolences and sharing of memories are warmly welcomed at To honor Tom’s memory, please consider a donation to the following:

Josh’s House
The Josh Pallotta Fund
P.O. Box 542
Colchester, VT 05446

Vermont Fish & Wildlife