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Originally published: 2012-12-18 10:00:29
Last modified: 2012-12-18 10:00:29

Emily Murray Parrish

Emily Murray Parrish died unexpectedly in Boone, on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, while visiting her children for the holidays. "Numey" is how most knew her and she always responded with her warm, infectious smile.

Emily was born Nov. 11, 1922, in Nashville, Tenn. She was the daughter of the late Emily Mills and Theodore Lewis Murray. She spent her younger years in Shenandoah, Idaho and Omaha, Neb., where she attended Brownell Hall. Because of her beauty and bright personality, Emily was chosen the first out-of-state May Queen while there. She then attended Ogontz Junior College in Philadelphia, Pa., In 1943 she married the late Edward Garrison Binning of New York. In 1958 she married the late Albert Elliot Parrish, Jr. of Nashville.

Emily was a member of the Junior League of Nashville, Belle Meade Country Club, The Children's Theater and Brookemeade Garden Club. She was an active member of St. George's Church and served on the Altar Guild. She founded the wedding committee and volunteered with her late sister, Rebecca Clayton, for over 30 years.

Emily's joyous tenacity for life was unparalleled. She had a green thumb and love of colorful gardens which were always spectacular and in constant bloom. She loved outdoor activities and played tennis and golf into her mid-80s. She never slowed down for anyone or anything many marveled at her energy and vivacious spirit to the end. She loved to travel the world and experience new cultures with family and friends with little left on her bucket list. Finally slowing down to mock speed, Emily became an avid bridge player and never missed reading the daily "bridge hand" in the local paper.

Emily was so proud of her four children, Bonny Binning Davis Breuer of Greenville, Emily Binning Stallings of Boone, Fay Murray Binning of Boone, and Albert Elliot Parrish III of Brunswick, Ga.; and her "outlaws" too, Anthony Carl Breuer, Andrew Heywood Stallings, Brenda Bradley Binning and Douglas McGowan Block. She absolutely adored her three granddaughters, Bonny Davis Block of Atlanta, Ga., Annie Murray Binning of Charlotte, and Lucy Mills Binning of Boone; and her devoted nephews and niece of Nashville, Theodore Murray Clayton, John O'Neal Clayton Jr. and Rebecca Murray Clayton. Last, but certainly not least, Emily delighted her two great-grandsons, Andrew McGowan Block and Christopher Murray Block; and her best friend and daily companion, Vallie Whitsey.

We will miss you, Madame Queen!

A celebration of her life will be held 2 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, at St. George's Episcopal Church, 4715 Harding Road, Nashville, Tenn., 37205.

A visitation will be held at this same location beginning at noon.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. Georges Episcopal Church, 4715 Harding Road, Nashville, TN 37205, or to Cumberland Heights, 8283 River Road, Nashville, TN 37209.

Online condolences may be sent to the Parrish family at

Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of the arrangements.