Dick December 22nd, 2018

December 22nd will never be the same since December 22, 2007 --- when John Parr, Sandy Widener, and daughter Chase died in a tragic auto accident, with then 17 year old daughter Katy the only survivor, on their way to Christmas Holidays at Sandy's folks home. I originally met John in the process of deciding whether to move to Denver from Washington, D.C. and to accept the position of founding CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership. Upon moving to Denver, Sarah and I became good friends, and eventual neighbors in the Cheesman Park community, with John and Sandy. Years after making Denver home, I had the opportunity to "return the favor" of John's having helped recruit me to Denver, when the Greater Denver Chamber recruited the National Civic League from NYC (and John as their then CEO), to make Denver their new HQ. On that fateful December 22, 2007, then Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, a longtime friend of John and Sandy, noted: “There is no way to describe the pain of this terrible, terrible tragedy.” 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.” RIP, John, Sandy & Chase, and God bless Katy Parr. --- Dick Fleming, CEO, Community Development Ventures, Inc., CIC@4220, CORTEX Innovation District, St. Louis, December 22, 2018