Charles Edward Parr,96 , of Mount Carmel, Illinois, passed away Jan. 15, 2016 at Oakview Heights surrounded by his family.
He was born April 5, 1919, in Wabash County, Illinois the son of William Andrew and Mary True (Jenkins) Parr. In 1950, Charles married Grace Alice Canedy. She preceded him in death in 1988. He married Edith Garrison in 1993 and she preceded him in death in 2010.
Charles was a Veteran of WWII working first in civilian employment for the U.S. Army-Air Corps Material Command, assigned to the Panama Canal Zone as Supervisor of Procurement and Distribution. He was the liaison with military air attaches in Central and South American countries. He did photographic work for the Army Intelligence Service in Talara, Iquitos and Lima, Peru covering Peruvian Army bases in the Amazon Jungle.
At the end of the war in Europe, Parr was accepted into active military service, assigned as Sergeant of the 9th Photo Tech Squadron of the 20th Air Force, Army Air Corps stationed in Guam.
After the war, he returned to Wabash County to assist his father in the management of the Laura Beall Farm now known as Beall Woods State Park.
He was employed for a time at Indiana University Medical Center business office but spent most of his career in county, district and regional executive positions with the Illinois Department of Public Aid from which he retired after 28 years. During this time, he was an organizer and charter board member of Wabash Area Development, Inc. (WADI), a multi-county human services and economic development agency, serving 12 years on its board.
Mr. Parr wrote the original grant that launched the first Head Start Program in Wabash County. He was also a member of the committee responsible for establishing Wabash Valley College and served two terms as chairman of the Wabash County Mental Health Board.
He was a life member of VFW Post 4276, American Legion Post 0423 and a member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Evansville. In addition, he was commissioned a Kentucky Colonel.
After retirement, he enjoyed refinishing antique furniture, gardening, and the companionship of his beloved dog Shadow. He was a Cardinals baseball fan and an avid reader.
He is survived by children Charles (Sue) Parr, Jr. of Alton, Illinois, Alice Worrell, of Columbus, Ohio, and Ellen (Randy) Grounds of Allendale, IL. Grandchildren Trevor Parr, Sarah and Catherine Worrell, and Alyssa Grounds also survive. He was very proud they all share his passion to help others. Also surviving are sisters-in-law, Juanita Parr, Frances Parr and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by parents, wives, Grace Alice and Edith, an infant son and his brothers, Eldon (Peanut) and Bill Parr.
Visitation for Charles Edward Parr will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 18, at Short Funeral Home.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Jan. 19, at the chapel of Short Funeral Home. Burial will follow at Highland Memorial Cemetery, 1827 College Drive, Mount Carmel, Illinois.
Memorial contributions in his honor may take the form of donations to WADI, 823 W. 9th Street, Mount Carmel, Illinois 62863. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.
Condolences may be made online at www.short-cunninghamfh.com.
Short-Cunningham Funeral Home is honored to serve Charles’s family.