Obituary of Karen Ann Parham
Early Monday morning on June 26, 2023, as the sun and clouds burst forth, Karen Ann Parham made her journey to Glory to her eternal rest in the arms of our loving heavenly father.
Karen was born on December 1, 1972, in Brooklyn, NY. She was the eldest of three children born to Phyllis Ann Parham and loved and protected her brothers Malik and Jose. During her childhood Karen spent many days enjoying the company and relationship with her grandmother, the late Lillie Belle Parham, her aunts, uncles, cousins, and family friends.
Karen, also affectionately nicknamed, "Penny," was a loving person and always curious about life. She began her formal schooling in the NY Public School system. After moving to Newark, New Jersey with her "Aunt Ruthie" and "Uncle Late”, who adopted her at the age of 7, Penny attended the Newark Public Schools, excelling in her Elementary studies at The Alexander Street School, where she received several awards for attendance and academic excellence. She then began pursuing studies in the arts at Arts High School in 1986. When her family moved to Willingboro, NJ in 1989, Karen began studying at John F. Kennedy High School, continuing her studies at Willingboro High School when JFK High School closed. Karen had a close group of friends whom she loved interacting with from the Willingboro community. At the age of 17, during the severe illness of Ruth, she was transitioned into the care of Sonya Redd and was blessed to now have her extended family to include the Redd family and friends.
Following High School, she attended a Computer Software school. Karen later attended Rutgers University after she and Sonya relocated to North Brunswick, NJ. Karen loved to learn and was always excited about her studies.
Growing up in Newark, Karen's family had very strong roots in the Apostolic faith. They attended the Roselle Christian Church in Roselle, NJ, and the Newark Apostolic Christian Church, under the leadership of Bishop Derris Cargile and the Cargile family. It was here where she accepted the Lord as her Savior and participated in the Children's and Youth Choir, Junior Ushers, Sunday School, attended annual bus trips and vacations with the Church family, and participated in additional activities which strengthened her relationship with the Lord. Karen was baptized at Roselle Christian Church around the age of 10 years old. She loved her Church family and cherished the relationships with many of the members well into her adult life. During 1994 and 1995 Karen attended First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, Somerset and participated in the young adult choir.
Karen was blessed with her first child Ashaya Parham. She later relocated to Atlanta, GA where she met and married Greg Josey and from that union came two children Jabari and Zariah.
After several years, she relocated back to NJ where she held several positions at Home Depot. Due to some health challenges and a need for a less stressful environment, she began taking only part-time positions.
Karen had a keen mind, a beautiful voice and loved to sing. She will be remembered for her beautiful smile, her genuine and loving spirit, her laugh, and positive outlook even in the midst of challenges and adversity.
In addition to her mother Phyllis, Karen was predeceased by her parents Layton & Ruth Parham and her brother Jose Lucas. She leaves to cherish her memory, three Children, Ashaya Zarina Parham, Jabari Isiah Josey, Zariah Samira Parham, Granddaughter, Nylani Nashae Parham, Adopted Mother, Sonya Redd, Sister, Kecia Parhan Cooke (The Honorable Terrence R.), Brother, Malik Antoine Lucas (Dr. Michelle), Adopted Brother, Brian K. Redd (Michelle), and a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
IN LIEU OF FLOWERS THE FAMILY REQEST DONATIONS BE MADE TO... https://gofund.me/1db70802