Darlene Beam Obituary (1949 – 2024) – Bardstown, KY

Darlene Parish Beam, 75, of Bardstown, passed away peacefully 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 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 in 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 Bachelor of Science 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; two daughters, Ruth (Eric) Greenwell and Elizabeth (Jamie) Mattingly, both of Cox’s Creek; a stepdaughter, Melissa (Scott) Biehn of Bangor, Maine; five grandchildren, Samuel Greenwell, Kelsey and Ella Mattingly, all of Cox’s Creek, and Benjamin Ruhlin and Brielle Biehn of Maine; and four 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.

Visitation is from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, April 5, at Barlow Funeral Home in 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.

Published by The News-Enterprise from Apr. 3 to Apr. 5, 2024.

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