Yesterday I sent the following message to all who have a Wesleyan email address:
It is with great sadness that I write to inform you that Chase Parr of the Class of 2010 was killed Saturday in a car accident in Wyoming that also claimed the lives of her parents, John Parr and Sandra Widener. The family, who lived in Denver, was en route to a family holiday celebration. Chase’s younger sister, Katy Parr, was seriously injured in the crash, though she is expected to recuperate fully.
This is a devastating loss. Our thoughts go out to Katy and to her extended family. As we receive information about ways members of the campus community can reach out in support of the family, we will keep you posted. We will plan a campus memorial service early in the spring term.
Throughout Colorado there have been commemorations of the Parr-Widener family and their many contributions to their community. Chase’s parents were civic leaders who had a long history of working to improve the Denver area. Chase, a student with a passion for social justice as well as for music and theater, was described by a friend as having “an attitude that whatever she was going to do she was going to change the world for the better.” The newspapers report that Katy is improving, and that it is hoped that she will be released from the hospital by the end of the week.
Wesleyan students and professors have already contacted me about contributing to the memorial for Chase. The Dean of the College’s Office will be communicating more information about this in the New Year.
These are holidays when we often bring our families close, and sometimes it is a time when we recollect those we have lost. May Chase’s memory and the memory of her parents be a blessing to Katy and to all who knew them.