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Thomas's Story

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PARR SR., Thomas R Thomas, 92, passed away of natural causes November 28, 2016 in Grand Forks North Dakota after a long and active life. Tom was born in Duluth Minnesota February 14, 1924. He is preceded in passing by his parents Edwin Arthur Parr and Harriet Kool Parr of Duluth and on November 11, 2016 by his wife of more than 66 years, Fern Mildred Sortedahl Parr. He is survived by his brother William in Florida; Tom (Pepper) Parr Jr. and his wife Rhonda Parr of Indianapolis; Brian Parr and his wife Betsy Hemler of Grand Forks; seven grand children and two great grandchildren. Tom grew up in Duluth on Lakeview Drive and attended Central High School, graduating in 1942. As was the custom, he joined the war effort enlisting in the United States Marine Corp and was part of the 5th Marine Division, 5th Assault Signal Company, though he spoke very little of the experience. He saw battle for five days on Iwo Jima before being wounded “in the upper thigh” by a shell fragment. “I guess I didn’t dig my foxhole quite deep enough.” Following recovery he also was part of the occupying force in Japan after the close of the war. Tom graduated from the University of Minnesota in Duluth with a degree in Chemistry, and a school letter in Tennis. He worked as a milk inspector for St. Louis County, also at Bridgeman’s Creamery in Quality Control and finished his career working at the Duluth Water Treatment Plan on the Old North Shore Drive. Tom was a great sportsman, enjoying all kinds of racket and ball related sports including, handball, badminton, and racket ball, but his true love was tennis. He competed throughout his long life, preferring singles, as he loved the running around. After retirement, he and Fern moved to Mesa Arizona where he continued to compete, including internationally on “the senior circuit” as he called it. More recently he moved to Grand Forks ND to be closer to family. Please Sign the Guestbook at eastvalleytribune.com
Published on  August 10, 2017
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