Though there is grieving, there is never a true separation, never a leaving. It is with great sorrow and deep love, her family shares the passing of Marguerite (Sallie) Anne Parson on November 21, 2021 in Kelso, Washington.
Born on October 7, 1944 in Watertown, Wisconsin to Dr. Lawrence Alton Dennis and Marguerite Louise Klein, Sallie was the middle child in a family of 7 siblings. The Dennis family moved to Oregon in 1955 where Sallie graduated from Milwaukie High School in 1962.
In 1968, Sallie married Terrance Kiggins and borne 3 children, her greatest joy and achievement. Traversing the country, the Kiggins family lived in several states: Ohio, Oregon, Georgia and Washington. Settling in Longview, Washington in 1982, Sallie shared her passion for education by helping students overcome barriers and achieve their academic potential at Lower Columbia College.
Sallie mirrored her student’s commitments, graduating with a Bachelors of History degree at Washington State University in 1996. An Academic Advisor within LCC’s Student Support Services, Sallie inspired and guided hundreds of students to reach their full potential as first generation, university graduates and earned a Washington State Award for Service to the Profession. Her dedication to her students went beyond education pathways. She extended her duty to advocate and support those within her community and followed their successes at every turn. During those significant years, Sallie esteemed countless, close friendships that are still current today. She danced with the margarita club, in the early days, and participated with the LCC Retirees Association for regular events.
In 2004, Sallie married Larry Parson. The couple travelled across the Pacific Northwest and internationally, making their way to the United Kingdom, and a city Sallie held dear: Paris. Her love of all things French sprinkled her home, including many books and an amour shaped like the Eiffel Tower. She was also a frequent flyer to Australia where she doted on her grandbabies and swam in the turquoise waters on the Aussie beaches. Her most recent adventure embarked an Alaskan cruise with her sisters in 2019. Sallie loved to travel and spent many nights reading books where history, foreign lands and non-fiction script took her to far-away places and times. She read books as one would breathe air.
Retiring from LCC in 2010 after 27 years, Sallie continued a career of public service, volunteering her heart and talents to the Cowlitz County Historical Society, The Red Hat not-for-profit organization and Stageworks Guild where she presided over the organization for one year.
Although her life was busy within the community, her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren brought her to regular singing concerts, soccer games, football matches, dance recitals and every birthday and celebration in between. Sallie (Grammie) was admired for her love of literature, maps and “advice,” where she would often stop a child in mid-sentence and look up a definition or location on the map before getting back to the story. Forever wise, thoughtful, witty and passionate, her advice was appreciated and leaned upon. Every time she started her sentence with, “I don’t like giving advice but,” we learned to brace ourselves, grab a pen and write down her perfect answers to, most often, difficult circumstances. “Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?” We want to be happy, Mama. You made us happy, Mama.
Sallie is survived by her children and grandchildren: Craig (Christie) Kiggins and their children; Andrew (Rosa) Kiggins, Matison (Payton) Miller, Alexis Sterkel, Brice Kiggins, Ethan Sterkel, Wyatt Partridge and Lane Partridge, Jill (Steve) McPartlane and their children; Izaak Booth, Callum McPartlane, Jackson McPartlane, Ryan McPartlane and Skye McPartlane and, her youngest son, Steve Kiggins.
Sallie is survived by her siblings: Lynne White, Lawrence (Skip) (Teresa) Dennis, Debbie (Max) Justice and Peter Dennis and was preceded in death by her sisters: Lizbeth Neuman and Nancy Anderson.
A Celebration of Life will be held at The Rose Center for the Arts at LCC at 1600 Maple Street Longview, WA on Tuesday, December 14th 2021 at 1:00pm. Parking permits will be issued upon entry. To join in celebration remotely, please follow this link:
Tribute gifts, in memory of Sallie, may be made to the Lower Columbia College Foundation online at https://lowercolumbia.edu/foundation/index.php or mailed to Lower Columbia College Foundation, PO Box 3010, Longview, WA 98632.
The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation for the sympathy, comforting words and expressions of kindness during our time of bereavement.