Darlene Parish Beam

March 21, 1949 ~ March 31, 2024 (age 75) 75 Years Old

Darlene Parish Beam Obituary

Darlene Parish Beam, 75, of Bardstown, passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 31, 2024, at University of Louisville Hospital following a brief illness. She was surrounded by family members who loved her dearly.   


Darlene was born on March 21, 1949, in Boston, one of nine children of O. Ray and Dora Parish. She was a 1967 graduate of Old Kentucky Home High School, Bardstown, and enjoyed her teenage years as a majorette, cheerleader, 4-H speech contestant, and library aide. Her abiding appreciation for library science began in high school and inspired her professional career path. She obtained a BS in Elementary Education, and a Master's and Rank I in Library Science, from Western Kentucky University, which was another academic institution dear to her heart.   


Darlene began her career as a teacher at Boston Elementary School before transitioning to a librarian.  She was passionate about this profession and retired as head librarian at Nelson County Senior High School in June 2000 after 30 years of exemplary, dedicated service. She was a member of the Nelson County Retired Teachers Association.  


Darlene was married to William Beam, who was the love of her life and favorite cowboy. They recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on March 16. They enjoyed traveling together to all major state parks in Kentucky, and she also relished adventurous trips to national parks with family members. Darlene was an avid reader since her youth and had fun watching all nominated movies for each Oscar season. She also watched countless Westerns with her husband, not to mention their beloved Gunsmoke and Tales of Wells Fargo tv series. While she was loyal to WKU, she was also an enthusiastic fan of the UK Wildcats and professional LA Lakers basketball games. She grew up as a Disciple of Christ at Boston Christian Church, and later became a member of First Christian Church, DOC, Bardstown.  


Darlene was preceded in death by her parents; three brothers, Darrell, George, and Stanley W. Parish; and an infant sister.


Survivors include her husband William Beam of Bardstown; daughters Ruth (Eric) Greenwell and Elizabeth (Jamie) Mattingly, both of Cox's Creek; step-daughter Melissa (Scott) Biehn of Bangor, Maine; grandchildren Samuel Greenwell, Kelsey and Ella Mattingly, all of Cox's Creek, Benjamin Ruhlin and Brielle Biehn of Maine; sisters Barbara Greer, Jo Ann Love, and Rebecca Parish-Glikin, all of Elizabethtown, and Linda Parish of Bardstown. She also leaves behind many nieces and nephews, special in-laws, and dear lifelong friends.  


The visitation is from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 5, at Barlow Funeral Home, Bardstown. A prayer service begins at 7 p.m.  There will be a private family burial at St. Thomas Cemetery.   


In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may take the form of contributions to the Boston Christian Church Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 13, Boston, KY  40107, or your favorite library or charity.     

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April 5, 2024

4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Barlow Funeral Home
2675 E. John Rowan Blvd.
Bardstown, KY 40004

Prayer Service
April 5, 2024

7:00 PM
Barlow Funeral Home
2675 E. John Rowan Blvd.
Bardstown, KY 40004


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