A Life Lived: Dorothy Parlier’s gift to others was her music

Published 8:51 am Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Someone has written: “The true beauty of music is that it connects people.”

And, that it did for Dorothy Parlier, who enjoyed singing and playing the guitar. In her youth she dreamed of making it to the big-time and singing on stage in grand places. In her earlier years, she did make some trips to Nashville to sing on stage.

“After about two weeks, she got homesick and came home. It was not to be for Mom. Her place to sing was right here in Elizabethton,” said her daughter, Tammy Carver. And, that Dorothy did. She sang for residents at local nursing homes and at local churches and events.

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Dorothy Parlier is now singing on the big stage in the Heavenly Choir. She passed from this life on Aug. 11 at the age of 78.

At one time Dorothy worked as Activities Director at Ivy Hall Nursing Home, during which time she was named Tennessee Activities Director of the Year by the Tennessee Health Care Association. “She enjoyed working with the elderly, singing for them, and bringing some joy to their day,” said Tammy.

For a long time Tammy and her stepbrothers sang together, and performed at a number of family reunions.

“Music was something she had enjoyed since a child. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, she enjoyed karaoke,” Tammy shared. Among her favorite artists were Elvis Presley and Kenny Chesney.

“Mom had a zest for life and had a strong faith which carried her through the tough times in her life,” said Tammy.

“She enjoyed having fun, laughing, and goofing off. But, more than anything, Mom liked to entertain. She enjoyed making people smile,” said Tammy.

Dorothy was a beautiful woman, who liked to look her best at all times. “Her hair had to be in place and her make-up just right,” Tammy shared.

In addition to singing and entertaining, Tammy enjoyed shopping, and she especially enjoyed watching Hallmark movies on television. She also did some paintings, mostly pastoral sceneries. “She didn’t mind taking on new challenges and trying her hand at new things,” said Tammy, one of Dorothy’s three children. She was also mother to Tony Arnold and the late Harold Arnold. In addition to her children, she had several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Dorothy was raised on Stoney Creek, the daughter of Robert Earl and Lucille Mabel Gentry Parlier. However, for the past 25 years she had lived in Valley Forge.

Dorothy was also an animal lover and had three small dogs she doted on.

“She was a very independent person, but a giving person. The past few years had been hard for her as she had not been able to go very much because of back problems, but when she was able Mom reached out to others, especially the elderly. She enjoyed people and being with them,” said Tammy.

For Dorothy, music was her constant companion. It was there for Dorothy in her happiest moments, when she felt alone, and in her waking hours. It was her gift to others.