CASTLE ROCK, Colo. – Since Deputy Zackari Parrish’s tragic death, people across the country have paid their respects to the 29-year-old, his family, and his brothers and sisters in blue.
Castle Rock resident Rachel Sears said the heartbreak made her want to do something special for Deputy Parrish’s wife, his two young daughters, and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
“It’s just something to provide comfort and love,” Sears said over the sound of her sewing machine, “Comfort and love to an already unfortunate grieving family.”
Piece by piece, Sears worked for hours to get material ready for the four quilts she plans to present to each of them.
The quilts will be a montage of patches representing the men and women who now make up the Parrish’s extended law enforcement family.
As Sears thumbed through her cell phone, she named more than 20 local and long-distant agencies that have either sent her their department patches, or have plans to do so.
The list is growing.
On Sunday morning, Sears listed Castle Rock PD, Castle Rock Fire, South Metro Fire Rescue, Colorado State Patrol, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Thornton PD, Lafayette PD, Denver Sheriff’s Department, Elbert County Sheriff’s Office, Elizabeth PD, Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office, Larkspur Fire, Los Angeles PD, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office, Burbank PD, and many other agencies across the country who've sent her department patches.
These patches will surround a thin blue line, ultimately representing the memory of Deputy Parrish.
Sears said the quilts will serve as a reminder that even with the bad, there are people like Deputy Parrish who have taken on a life of good.
“If anybody is married to law enforcement they know what it's like, they know the stress,” she said.
Sears added that stress is unlike anything she’s felt before. She was previously married to a local deputy; the two have a son.
“At 5-years-old, he understands this,” Sears said, “This is his third law enforcement funeral.”
Sears said she was very close to Deputy Nate Carrigan and his family. Carrigan was the Park County Deputy who was shot and killed in Bailey in early 2016.
Sears said she and other family members made and gifted the Carrigan family with a quilt then, and that’s where the idea came from.
“I didn't know them, but Gracie lost her best friend, her husband... and the girls lost their dad,” she said.
While Sears said she can’t imagine the pain, she hopes that through these personalized quilts, the Parrish family and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office feel the support.
“They see us at our best and they see us at our worst. And they face danger head-on,” she said.
Sears said she isn’t asking for monetary donations. She directed any money to the DCSO Fallen Officer Fund instead. However, she wanted to provide her email address for anyone looking to assist with sewing and such: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sears anticipates the quilts will take at least a month to complete.