Phyllis Lynn Parnell


Oct. 15, 1947 — Oct. 29, 2020

  • Phyllis Lynn Parnell
    Phyllis Lynn Parnell

With great joy in Heaven, Phyllis Lynn (Black) Parnell joined her Lord and Savior on October 29, 2020, two weeks after celebrating her 73rd birthday.

For more than 30 years, Phyllis battled the effects of Multiple Sclerosis on her body with determination and without complaint or question. She lived her life to the fullest, and her faith in the Lord served as inspiration to all who knew her.

Phyllis was born October 15, 1947 in Cordell, Oklahoma and always treasured her western Oklahoma roots. Her parents, Jacob (Jake) and Ida Belle Black, farmed in the Cordell area and reared her along with her brother, Mike Black, in a Godly and musical home.

Phyllis attended school at Dill City and graduated Valedictorian of her high school class. She later studied music at Southwestern Oklahoma State in Weatherford for two years before ending her studies to marry.

Phyllis married the love of her life, Bob Parnell, on April 8, 1967. Their life as newlyweds was placed on hold as Bob served in Vietnam while she stayed back home in Oklahoma with her parents. The story goes that Phyllis missed her new husband so badly she played “I’ll Have a Blue Christmas” on the record player nearly nonstop until his return.

The Parnell family expanded with the birth of their first child, Lyn Alisa, on October 4, 1968. Phyllis and Bob relocated briefly to Washington state before returning permanently to Oklahoma in 1970. Their family was completed with the birth of Joseph Scott on March 26, 1975. Phyllis loved her children deeply and gifted them both with a love of the Lord and a great love for performing music.

Phyllis loved becoming a grandmother and was known by all as Nana Lynn after the birth of her first grandchild. She cherished each and every visit with her five grandchildren – Libby Parnell, Colt Parnell, Jacob Parnell, Emilyn Snead, and Katie Belle Snead.

Phyllis and Bob celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary among family and friends in 2017 with great joy and appreciation for the many years they were given together. The dance they enjoyed and celebrated with a kiss reflected the beautiful 53-year marriage they enjoyed.

God truly blessed Phyllis with remarkable musical talent. A wonderful pianist and long-time piano teacher, she could play almost any song by ear and mastered a diverse set of instruments. She will undoubtedly live on through this talent which she passed on to her children, grandchildren, and many piano students. One of her greatest joys was listening to her children and grandchildren play their instruments. Many church members enjoyed her faithful service as a church pianist over the years.

Phyllis was also a prayer warrior. When she pleaded your case with the Lord, you knew special favor would be received on your behalf. She was incredibly faithful in all areas of her life. Many of her family and friends will always cherish the annual Happy Birthday phone call and piano song they received from her. The incredible number of cards Phyllis sent by mail to mark both celebration and sorrow uplifted the spirits of many over the years.

Along with her love of God, church, and family, Phyllis was unapologetically patriotic. She was usually the first in a crowd to stand whenever patriotic music was played and always proud of Bob’s service in the U.S. Air Force and her father’s service in the U.S. Army during World War II. The Fourth of July was a special day in her life.

Her favorite activity was always camping, including many trips over the years with her family. She most looked forward to springtime trips she and Bob took to Cade’s Cove in the Smoky Mountains as the dogwoods bloomed and black bears emerged from hibernation. The Smoky Mountains were truly her refuge. Many of her fondest memories also revolved around years of family reunions in western Oklahoma, Eufaula, and Branson and the time spent around campfires with her extended family.

Phyllis was blessed with a remarkable green thumb and enjoyed the beauty of plants throughout her home and in the yard. She loved flowers of all kinds and could never have enough around to enjoy. She was a lifelong L.A. Dodgers fan, but the Oklahoma Sooners were always her favorite team, with the Thunder gaining ground in her heart in recent years. She loved to watch her grandsons play baseball. No matter the sport, the occasional “fiddlesticks” could be heard when a play did not go her way.

Nana will be loved and remembered by all who knew her. While we miss her more than words can say, we take comfort in knowing she is reaping her heavenly reward with Jesus today. We love you to the moon and back, Nana. Se agapo puli and Toodaloo!

Funeral services were held Friday, November 6, 10:00am at First Baptist Church of Bethany. Interment was in the Cordell Cemetery at 2:00pm on Friday.

The funeral service was recorded and available to view on her obituary page at