Gwendolyn Segers Deese


Gwendolyn Segers Deese, 91, of the Red Oak Community, passed away on September 18, 023, at River Valley Rehab in Blountstown, FL. She was born in Chicago, IL on October 10, 1931, to Graves and Mary Hand Segers. They moved to Macedonia, FL in early 1933 and later to the Red Oak Community. Gwen attended both Macedonia and Blountstown High Schools. Faith in our Heavenly Father, love of family, sincerity and quiet demeaner were a few of characteristics that cemented lifelong friendships at her church, school, and community. At 15 years old, Gwen married Durward Parrish. She attended “night school” at Blountstown to earn her high school diploma after the birth of their six children. Due to the serious illness of her husband, Gwen’s treasured time caring for her young children and farm was divided when she went to work at Chattahoochee Hospital. She was 33 when Durward died, and Gwen became solely responsible for the family. Within a few months Gwen faced another tragedy when she lost her son in a farm accident. Her faith and strength never wavered. She dedicated the next few years to the children and farm, leading them by example. Gwen did not slack in parenting duties, whether assigning chores, teaching a new skill, helping with homework, doctoring an injury, giving a hug, or discipline. True story-she wore a belt around her neck daily and any child misbehaving on the premises was subject to the sting. It is often joked about today, though not so funny back then. Her life was so intertwined with her passions; family, cooking, gardening, canning, crochet, sewing, and singing, always leading the music at church. She could do it all and well! Late summer 1968 Gwen was introduced to Houston Deese, father of four young children. She was 37 when their new lives together began. Her passions were a blessing to the blended family. For several years Gwen and Houston lived part time between Red Oak and Tallahassee. Gwen was employed by the State of Florida at Motor Vehicle and later retired from a Statistician position for the Dept of Commerce. Both Gwen and Houston devoted their love and energy to Magnolia Baptist Church. Whenever there was a church or family event you might find them both at midnight the night before in the kitchen preparing delicious dishes. RV travels with Houston as far as California, cruises to parts unknown, even weekends at Mexico Beach were all so memorable to her. She appreciated small things. She was tickled to discover a small “johnny jump up” blooming, a new calf, the sparkling sunlight in her grandchild’s hair, the croak of a green rain frog in her potted plant, a card or letter from an old friend. Her legacy to her family is John 13:34. Gwen is predeceased by her parents; a husband, Durward Parrish; sons, Graves and Raymond Parrish, Larry and Tommy Deese; grandsons, Chad and Jay Parrish; brothers, Graves Segers, Jr and Gerald D. Segers. She is survived by her husband of 54 years, Houston Deese; sons, Dowling (Anita) and Fletcher (Debbie) Parrish of Red Oak, Weldon Parrish of Clarksville, Mickey (Debbie) Deese of Tallahassee; daughters, Garnet (Troy) Walden of Red Oak, Sandi Haggaman of Tallahassee; daughters-in-law, Barbara Parrish and Teresa Deese of Tallahassee; brother, Quincy (Marie) Segers of Cypress; and a very special “sister” Juanita Mears of Altha. Surviving grandchildren include Robyn P. Hill, Travis and Lane Parrish, Angela P. Berg, Taylon Parrish, Nathaniel, Ryan, and Loran Walden, Cody and Kyle Parrish, Tasha P. Scott, Trisha P. Tolley, Meagan P. Tanner, Jeremy and Shawn Deese, Jason Betts, Brad and Amber Deese, and Kelly Griffin; 29 great grandchildren. The family will receive friends Thursday, September 21, 2023, at the Peavy Funeral Home Chapel beginning at 11:00 AM (CT) with service time beginning at 12:00 PM (CT). Interment will follow at Magnolia Church Cemetery. Afterward family and friends are invited to join Gwen’s family for a meal at the Magnolia Church Fellowship Hall. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Magnolia Church in honor of Gwendolyn Deese. All arrangements are under the direction of Marlon Peavy at Peavy Funeral Home in Blountstown, FL.


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