When the class of 1961 gathers, something unique happens ... every time the name of our classmate, Jim Parrott, is mentioned, everyone smiles! Knowing grins invariably turn to laughter as we recount memories and stories about our entertaining friend. As teenagers, the 50's were a kinder" gentler time and a great era in which to grow and learn at CHS. When the closing bell rang, we spilled from the double doors, piled into awaiting cars and set out OID "urgent" missions. Between the serious pastime of dragging Main, we crowded into booths at the drugstore, danced at the teen cabana (where Jim shone on the dance floor), and ate curly fries at the Rainbow.
Whether you called our short, cute, charismatic and popular classmate Jim, Jimmy, Speck, Fleck or Jimmy Vic, everyone knew him as a friend. He sported the perfect flattop haircut, highly polished loafers and meticulously pressed attire. In other words, his mother, Regis, an RN, doted on him. He had a great smile and perfect white teeth, courtesy of his father Mac, a dentist. Above all, Jim had a fantastic sense of humor and an abundance of comic routines that he performed at the slightest request. He was as funny with off- the-cuff remarks as he was with rehearsed skits and hilarious physical comedy. Simply put, Jim was a joy!
After graduation from CHS, Jim earned a football scholarship to Dodge City and was, from the first game, a starter. Two years later he transferred to Washburn University and following graduation, he joined the corporate world in Kansas City. In 1968 he married his soul mate, Sharon Geer, and they had what Jim considered his best accomplishments, their sons Jeff and Jason. In 1980 the young family moved to Loveland, CO, a place Jim considered a sportsman paradise. He particularly enjoyed the availability of both winter and summer sports and recreation and broadened his hunting skills to include the art of bow hunting. The mountain community was ideal for the whole family and was Jim's home until his untimely death caused by a brain aneurism on Dec. 23, 1987. He was 43 years old.
Friends since childhood, I was inundated with memories of dance parties, football games, picnics, boating trips, birthday parties and hundreds of special moments. It was then that I learned of Jim's desire to be an organ donor and of the advance arrangements. For someone with his caring, generous and compassionate nature, the news came as no surprise.
The recipient of his heart was a 48-year-old man from Iowa. One of his kidneys went to a 49 year old woman and the other to a 27-year-old man, both in Denver. His eyes helped a 62-year-old Studley, KS woman and a 61-year-old man in Denver to see again. As Sharon wrote, Jim brought so much life, love and happiness to those who knew him and he continues to give life. I know I speak for all of us, the class of 1961, when I ask, "can there be a more selfless act?" We are proud to nominate our dear friend Jim Parrott to the list of High Flying Eagles!
Dixie Thompson and the Class of 1961