Cover photo for Jeanette Kilby Parris's Obituary
Jeanette Kilby Parris Profile Photo

Jeanette Kilby Parris

November 7, 1948 — July 25, 2023


Jeanette Kilby Parris


Jeanette Kilby Parris, 74, of Jackson County, went to be with her Lord and Savior on July 25, 2023.  Jeanette was born November 7, 1948, to the late Lewis and Lena Jones Kilby.

Jeanette lived a life dedicated to her Lord, family, friends, and fellow citizens. In her youth, she played softball for Jackson Paper, was scorekeeper, worked at the concession stand and umpired for ASA at Mark Watson Park. In high school, she was immensely proud to drive the school bus and was voted the most athletic her senior year. Jeanette ran for part-time commissioner on the Republican ticket in the 1980’s as well as Clerk of Court. She owned and operated Jeanette’s Country Store in Balsam for 5 years, meeting new people and sharing stories. Jeanette worked for Coward, Hicks & Siler, PA Law Office for 40 years serving the citizens of Jackson and surrounding counties and providing her expertise to help others.

Jeanette’s greatest joy on earth was her family. She devoted her time to her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren making it a point to never miss a game. One of her greatest pleasures was gardening. Jeanette grew many beautiful flowers and vegetables making sure to grow a bounty to share with others and gifting bouquets of flowers. She was an avid hunter, fisher, loved to sew and crochet, cook, and was an accomplished cake decorator and teacher. Jeanette served as pianist at many churches throughout Jackson and Haywood County and especially loved the fast hymns.

After retirement, Jeanette spent her summers in Canada. In thirty-four trips, she made many friends in the Nakina Ontario area. Jeanette was one of the most renowned fisherwomen to ever fish in Northwest Ontario. People from all over the US and Canada would call to get advice on catching walleye, her favorite fish. A boat dock (JKP Boat Dock) was built by Donny and a Canadian friend, Walt, on a remote Canadian lake in 2019 in Jeanette’s honor and will remain there in her memory.  Her best friend and buddy was her dog, Mary Jane. Mary Jane loved sitting on the porch with Jeanette each day and they especially loved watching the Northern Lights. She was a protector from the wild animals in Canada and loved taking walks along Jeanette’s side. A faithful companion could never be truer than Mary Jane. Mary Jane accompanied Jeanette on sixteen trips to Canada and was always by her side at home in North Carolina.

Left to cherish Jeanette’s memory are her loving husband of thirty-six years, Donny; beloved dog, Mary Jane; daughter Janene Downs; son Clinton Smith; stepdaughter Christy Kennedy; stepson Daniel Parris; grandsons Ridge & Luke Parris, Brett Smith, Sam Kennedy; granddaughter, Trisha Kennedy; great grandsons Easton & Leland Parris; sisters Sue Fouts and Evelyn Burrell; special niece Kelli Richmond that she loved like a daughter; special nephew, Kevin Burrell; and adopted family member, Jena Stewart.  

She was preceded in death by her parents, Lewis and Lena Kilby, as well as two brothers, Clifton and Vernall.

Jeanette will be sorely missed by many, and we are so grateful God blessed us with such an inspiring, loving woman.

By: Kelli Richmond

July is always a special time of year with the summer sunshine beaming
down, birds chirping, gardens growing, and God’s beautiful landscapes
showing their full glory.

Early mornings bring smiles while enjoying a fresh cup of coffee.

Along the ridgetops you will see deer, turkeys or even an occasional
bear making their way through the woods, wild, free, and so majestic.

Neath the dogwoods the cardinals are eating bird seed from the
feeders I so meticulously placed.

Every day I thank God for my many blessings. I am so thankful for my
family, friends and loved ones that surround me. Whether near or far, I
feel their love continuously in my heart and I am overjoyed with the
peace they each bring me.

Taking care of my garden and watching it grow draws me nearer to
God and renews my faith daily. As the Bible says, “You reap what you
sow” and I love not only reaping a harvest of vegetables, but of my
constant yearning to draw closer to my Lord and Savior.

This year, in 2023, my lifelong work ended, and I got to reap my earthly
harvest in heaven. Seeing Jesus for the first time and feeling his loving
embrace was something I looked forward to for many years. Mom and
dad were waiting for me, beaming with excitement and open arms.

Everywhere I look there is beauty, peace, comfort, and joy. I cannot
wait to reunite with my family, friends, and loved ones soon. I will be
preparing for you just as I always did. Until we meet again………..all my
love, Jeanette.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jeanette Kilby Parris, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Saturday, August 5, 2023

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Appalachian Funeral Services

165 Skyland Drive, Sylva, NC 28779

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Sunday, August 6, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

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