Sandra Parsell

Sandra Fitzgerald Parsell

1939 - 2019

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Obituary of Sandra Fitzgerald Parsell

Sandra Fitzgerald Parsell, 79, of Bristol, VA passed peacefully on January 10th, 2019 at Holston Valley Hospital, Kingsport TN days after open heart surgery. 

The words of her granddaughter, Jillian captured the essence of who she was within her family life: “You were spunky, feisty and fiercely independent. You were a strong woman who loved to travel and enjoyed history, finding out who our ancestors are and where we came from. You were quite the matriarch who loved family more than anything. Ensuring that we were all together for birthdays and holidays or just a Monday night dinner. You were a sister, a mother, an aunt, a grandmother and a great grandmother. You were our Mama San and you will be deeply missed.”

She was preceded in death by her parents, Edwin and Clara Fitzgerald.  She is survived by one daughter, Julia Rae Parsell and husband, Robert Hoffman, one son, Charles (Chuck) Edwin Parsell, sister Donna Rae Fitzgerald, nephew Bryce Ellsworth Fitzgerald and wife Alexandrea Whitfield. She will be missed greatly by her seven grandchildren:  Jordana Marion Chambers and husband, Matthew Chambers, Jackson Clay Marion, Jillian Sarah Marion, Chloe Parsell Yates and husband, Nathan Yates, Celia Parsell Jessee and husband, Joshua Jessee, Christopher Parsell, and Carter Parsell. Eight great-grandchildren:  Tobin Chambers, Josiah Chambers, Jude Chambers, Eden Chambers, Marceau Chambers, Rhys Chambers, Zuri Chambers, and soon to be born, Silas James Yates.  She had dear relations with numerous cousins across the country and too many close friends to mention by name.

Sandra retired from Washington County Virginia school system as a reading specialist and taught second grade at Greendale Elementary School for thirty years.  She received her Master of Education degree from East Tennessee State University and bachelors from Virginia Intermont in Bristol, Virginia while it was still an all-girls school. 

She served on the Altar Guild at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Bristol, Virginia, served as president of the Martha Circle, and assisted the Family Promise and Snack Pack Programs.  She also conducted the kitchen inventory program.  She was a volunteer at the Minnick School in Bristol VA.  The school was formerly the Janie Hammit Home and now is used to educate children using the ‘best-practice, whole-child approach that opens the door to education and more fulfilling life’. She was the historian and past president for The Wilderness Trail Chapter of Colonial Dames XVII Century.  Sandra had been a member of the Fort Chiswell Chapter of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) for more than ten years, actively involved as a committee chair, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Webmistress, and most recently, Chaplain.  She was an associate member of the Black’s Fort Chapter of the NSDAR.  Sandra also presently served as Lt. Governor of the Roanoke-New River Valley Company of the Jamestown Society.

A celebration of her life will be held on Wednesday, January 16th at 7:00 PM at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 672 Island Rd., Bristol VA.


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Lutheran Family Services of VA, 2609 McVitty Road, Roanoke, VA 24018, supporting the Bristol Minnick School.


Carter-Trent Funeral Home, Kingsport is serving the Parsell family.



Celebration of Life

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Redeemer Lutheran Church
672 Island Road
Bristol, Virginia, United States