Today's Paper News Sports Obits Events Classifieds Digital FAQ Newsletters Contact us

Melody Parry

June 3, 2023

Melody Sue Garnett Parry, age 59, passed into the arms of Jesus on Tuesday, May 23, 2023.
Melody was born to Rodney Garnett and Mary Maxine Niederhelman Garnett on March 18, 1964.
Melody was united in marriage on September 26, 1992 to Fred J. Parry. Fred and Melody had two sons, Cameron Maxwell “Max” Parry and Nicholas “Nick” Alexander Parry.
Melody was a 1982 graduate of Jefferson City High School and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Communications from the University of Missouri. She earned her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) from the Public Relations Society of America. At the time of her passing, Melody was the publisher of Inside Columbia magazine. Melody was the founder of Outfront Communications, a successful marketing and public relations firm. She also co-founded 15 award-winning magazines as part of her 37-year career in public relations, marketing, and publishing.
Melody was named the 2007 Debin Benish Outstanding Businesswoman of the Year. Melody won numerous CASE Awards and ADDY Awards from the American Advertising Federation. She co-hosted The Woman Show on radio stations KFRU and KPLA for several years.
The most important thing to know about Melody is that she had a heart for Jesus. Melody served God by serving others through a variety of causes that were close to her heart. She organized several mission trips to Malawi, Africa to serve widows and orphans devastated by the AIDS epidemic. When refugees escaping genocide in Burma relocated to Columbia, Melody eagerly adopted a family and helped them acclimate to a new culture. Melody’s love knew no borders.
Melody attended Woodcrest Chapel in Columbia and enjoyed a weekly Friday morning Bible study with a group of women she loved. She began every day in God’s word.
Melody was the founder of the annual Columbia Christian Women’s Conference and hosted the National Speaking of Women’s Health conferences in Columbia for several years. She founded the Women’s Healthcare Alliance which helped educate women about their own health while providing financial support to many worthwhile organizations in our community. She served on numerous boards including True North, the American Heart Association, INVEST, and the Columbia Independent School. She co-chaired the capital campaign that doubled the capacity of the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri.
In addition to her generous heart for others, Melody had an amazing and adventurous spirit. She was a proud member of the Show Me Pickleball Club and rumor has it she was a “beast” on the court. She hiked the Grand Canyon, ran the Chicago Marathon, bicycled across the state of Missouri, and won a limbo contest on a cruise ship when she was five months pregnant. She loved to travel, hike up mountains, and once surfed the infamous Witch’s Rock in Costa Rica. She was willing to do all the crazy things her sons challenged her to do. She loved her boys and would move mountains just to spend time with them. Her happy places were Steamboat Springs, Colo., Watercolor, Fla., and The Palisades at the Lake of the Ozarks. She also found great joy on the sidelines, ringing her purple cowbell, while her sons competed in Hickman Kewpie sports.
In addition to her husband and two sons, Melody leaves behind her father, Rodney Garnett of Holts Summit; sisters, Christy Garnett and Leanne Peace (Jack) of Columbia; and brother, Scott Garnett of Marion. She is also survived by a large gang of nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, and in-laws who loved her dearly.
Her mother, Maxine Garnett, preceded her in death in 1993.
A Celebration of Life and Homecoming Service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 10 at Missouri United Methodist Church, 204 South Ninth Street, Columbia, Mo. Visitation will begin at 12 noon.
In lieu of flowers, donations to honor Melody’s memory may be sent to the Women’s Health Care Alliance (501c3), 711 West Broadway, Columbia, Mo 65203. This fund will continue to support community initiatives and causes near and dear to Melody’s heart.
Arrangements are under the direction of Parker-Millard Funeral Service & Crematory, 12 East Ash Street, Columbia, MO 65203 (573) 449-4153.
Condolences may be left online for the family at