Joan K. Parry, a former member of the NASW national Board of Directors, died Jan. 9 at her home La Jolla, Calif. She was 79.
A member of the national board from 1999 to 2002, Parry was the author of numerous articles, chapters and books, including Social Work Practice with the Terminally Ill and A Cross-Cultural Look at Death, Dying and Religion.
"I am truly saddened to learn of Joan Parry's death," said NASW Executive Director Elizabeth J. Clark. "I have always considered her a role model for health care social work. She was a pioneer in her field, and her work laid the foundation for the social work movement in end of life, which continues to be a focus of NASW today."
According to an obituary published in the San Jose Mercury News, Parry was a resident of the San Diego area for the past 25 years. She received her bachelor's degree from Columbia University, her master's degree in social work from Adelphi University and her doctorate in social work from Yeshiva University, all in New York.
The Mercury News also noted that Parry had more than 30 years of experience as a social worker and teacher. Her areas of expertise were death and dying, group work and psychiatric social work. Parry was professor emerita of the San Jose State University School of Social Work. She also served on the NASW task force that wrote continuing education standards for NASW's members.
Parry was active for more than 20 years with the Association for the Advancement of Social Work With Groups (AASWG) and was co-founder of its San Diego Chapter in 1993, according to the Mercury News. She was president of the AASWG San Diego Chapter from 1993 to 1997. She receive a lifetime achievement award from the group last year. She was a member of the Council on Social Work Education.
Parry also worked as a psychiatric social worker at a mental health clinic, as a family service supervisor in Freeport, N.Y., and as a director of social work at the Community Hospital in Glen Cove, N.Y. She taught at Hunter College School of Social Work and the San Jose State University School of Social Work.
The NASW Foundation accepts memorial and tribute donations.