Artie L. Parr, 88, died Saturday Feb. 7, 2015. She died at home, surrounded by her sisters and children, just as she would have wanted. She was born Jan. 25, 1927, in Grand Junction, Colo., to Greek immigrants Hariklia Roufoulas and Louis J. Eliopulos. She was the fifth of six children, one of whom died in infancy.
Artie’s father had land and some sheep outside of Grand Junction, but he primarily ran the Eliopulos Groceries and Mercantile Store by the railroad depot, and the family lived in the back of the store.
She had many wonderful stories of that melting-pot neighborhood in Grand Junction, where first-generation children of many nations played together.
When Artie was 3 years old, her father was killed. Her father’s brother, Uncle Jim Eliopulos, came from Denver to live with the family and run the store. The children all loved him deeply.
When Artie was in third grade, her Uncle Jim moved away to marry. Hariklia then married Nick Patsantaras, a sheep rancher from Collbran. The family moved to Collbran and learned what rural life was like.
These were Artie’s favorite childhood years, and, with fondness, she told many stories of the people there. The family moved back to Grand Junction in 1941 so her brothers could attend college. They built a house at 12th and Gunnison across from Lincoln Park. Artie was graduated from Grand Junction High School in 1944 and then attended Mesa College. After graduating with an associate’s degree in education, she taught for three years in the Fruitvale and Fruita area. One year, both she and her sister, Kate, taught in the same school.
In 1950, Artie interviewed for a teaching position in Meeker. She had met Dean Parr at a dance in Glenwood Springs the summer before, and, when she moved to Meeker, they began dating. He proposed at the annual stockmans’ dinner/dance in March, and they were married on June 3, 1951. They had four children together: Kathy, Rich, Steve and Michael.
Artie taught school in Meeker for 39 years, most in fourth or fifth grade, affecting the lives of many students over multiple generations. Throughout her time in Meeker, she was an active member of the First United Methodist Church, ESA, Meeker Investment Club, Retired Teachers Club, Fairfield Trust Scholarship Committee and Curtain Call, a local theater group.
As a volunteer, she enjoyed several annual activities, including the 9-News Health Fair, the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Trials and serving as an election judge for the Democratic Party. She was also very active in the Women’s Task Force as part of the Colorado Rural Electric Association and was inducted as a Hall of Fame Member in 2001.
She enjoyed playing bridge and most other card games as well as bowling, painting, dancing, gardening, sewing and reading. As her children will attest, she was also an exceptional cook and was an enthusiastic sports fan, supporting her children and any Colorado team making an appearance.
She was preceded in death by: her parents; her brothers (John and Gus); and her husband, Dean.
She is survived by: her sisters, Jane L. Johnson of Grand Junction and Kate L. Peroulis of Craig; her children, Katherine and Brad Dodds of Lone Tree, Richard and Carol Parr of Meeker, Steven and Sharon Parr of Meeker, and Mike and Sabrina Parr of Las Cruces, N.M.; and her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and many friends.