Sunday, December 23, 2007

In memory of John Parr, Sandra Widener and their daughter Chase

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Although not directly related to the convention, John and Sandra would have been a big part of it.

John Parr, a Democratic political consultant who played key roles in city and state government, and his wife, a former Denver Post reporter and co-founder of the alternative weekly Westword, died in an auto accident on an icy Wyoming highway Saturday.

Parr, 59, Sandra Widener, 53, and their daughter Chase Anna, 19, died when their Subaru skidded out of control and a tractor trailer slammed into the driver's side of the vehicle on Interstate 80.

The couple's daughter, Katy, 17, survived and was taken in critical condition to Wyoming Medical Center in Casper, according to the Wyoming Highway Patrol.

Parr "was always a guy looking for a way to help people," said William McAllister, who is married to Parr's niece. - Denver Post

Governor Bill Ritter made the following statement on Sunday
“There is no way to describe the pain of this terrible, terrible tragedy," Gov. 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.”

“Chase and her sister Katy have been an amazing gift to their many friends. We will do everything we can to comfort Katy and help her through this. Let us all hold her deep in our hearts and our prayers.”

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper made this statement:

"We cherish our memories of John and Sandy and their daughter Chase. They made us better people. They made Denver a better city, and Colorado a better state. We struggle to comprehend this loss, and our hearts go out to Katy."
Update: Leadership award announced to honor Widener and Parr's memory. Katy Parr released from hospital.