|John Parr, 59, a political consultant who worked
with governors, mayors as well as grassroots community
groups, his wife, journalist Sandra Widener, 53,
and daughter Chase 19, were killed December 22,
2007 after their car was hit by a tractor-trailer
six miles west of Rawlins, according to the Wyoming
Highway Patrol. Seventeen year old daughter, Katy
was the only survivor.
Parr, the co-founder of Denver-based Civic Results,
served as president of the National Civic League
from 1985 to 1995 and was a board member of the
Downtown Denver Partnership. Parr also worked
to help elect Dick Lamm, Governor of Colorado
in 1974 and, in 1983 served as the transition
director for Denver Mayor Federico Peña.
Widener wrote for the Denver Post and co-founded
Chase was a sophomore at Wesleyan University
who has a gift for singing and acting. Katy is
a senior at East High School where she plays soccer.
Governor Bill Ritter, longtime friends of the
family, issued this following statement regarding
the deaths of John Parr, Sandy Widener and their
daughter, Chase. “There is no way to describe
the pain of this terrible, terrible tragedy,”
Ritter said. “This is such a devastating
loss for the entire community on so many levels.
John and Sandy made untold contributions –
small, large and every size in between –
and touched untold lives. They were loved by so
many people that you can feel the tears ripple
across Colorado today. We will be in mourning
for a very long time.”
the Family Memorial Site
The Denver Foundation is a community
foundation that inspires people and mobilizes
resources to strengthen the Metro Denver community.
The John Parr and Sandy Widener Civic
Leadership Award will recognize people
exemplifying John and Sandy's commitment to and
passion for improving the Metro Denver community.
The cash award will be presented each fall at
The Denver Foundation's Tribute to Philanthropy
in honor of John, Sandy, and their daughter Chase.
Contributions can be made to the John Parr and
Sandy Widener Community Leadership Award c/o The
Denver Foundation, 55 Madison St, 8th Floor, Denver,
CO 80206. Contributions can also be made online
There are numerous
other awards that have been established:
The John Parr Children and Nature Leadership
John Parr was one of the founders of the Children
& Nature Network, a member of the group’s
board of directors and the principal author of
the C&NN Community Action Guide: Building
the Children and Nature Movement from the Ground
Up, which he completed on December 20. In his
memory, the Children & Nature Network has
established the John Parr Children and Nature
Leadership Award, a cash gift to be given to an
outstanding young Natural Leader™ every
Contributions may be sent to Children &
Nature Network, 7 Avenida Vista Grande B-7 #502,
Santa Fe, NM,87508.
The John Parr Denver Community Leadership
Co-founded in 1984 by John Parr and Dave Chrislip,
the Denver Community Leadership Forum brings together
emerging leaders from the private, government
and non-profit sectors to explore new ways to
address community challenges. With its focus on
the development of collaborative leadership and
cooperative problem-solving skills, the DCLF reflects
John’s commitment to and enthusiasm for
the democratic process.
Contributions can be sent to the CU Foundation/John
Parr DCLF Scholarship Fund, School of Public Affairs,
c/o the Center for Public-Private Sector Cooperation,
Campus Box 133, P.O. Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364.
For more information, go to www.dclf.net.
Downtown Denver Leadership Program’s
John Parr Leadership Award
In honor of John Parr’s longstanding support
of and involvement in the Downtown Denver Partnership
and its Downtown Denver Leadership Program, the
Downtown Denver Partnership has created the Downtown
Denver Leadership Program’s John Parr Leadership
Award, which will be given each year to the Leadership
Program participant who best exemplifies John’s
outstanding community leadership skills.
The Sandra J. Widener '76 Memorial Fund
Sandy Widener served as assistant managing editor
of the Cornell Daily Sun, and this fund in her
honor will be used to landscape the Sun building
in downtown Ithaca, New York.
Contributions can be sent c/o the Cornell
Daily Sun Alumni Association, P.O. Box 876, Ithaca,