Building Community

John Parr and Sandy Widener

John Parr and Sandy Widener Civic Leadership Award

 

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John Parr, 59, a political consultant who worked with governors, mayors as well as grassroots community groups, his wife, journalist Sandra Widener, 53, and daughter Chase 19, were killed December 22, 2007 after their car was hit by a tractor-trailer six miles west of Rawlins, according to the Wyoming Highway Patrol.  Seventeen year old daughter, Katy was the only survivor.  

Parr, the co-founder of Denver-based Civic Results, served as president of the National Civic League from 1985 to 1995 and was a board member of the Downtown Denver Partnership.  Parr also worked to help elect Dick Lamm, Governor of Colorado in 1974 and, in 1983 served as the transition director for Denver Mayor Federico Peña.  

Widener wrote for the Denver Post and co-founded Westword Newspaper.  

Chase was a sophomore at Wesleyan University who has a gift for singing and acting.  Katy is a senior at East High School where she plays soccer.  

Governor Bill Ritter, longtime friends of the family, issued this following statement regarding the deaths of John Parr, Sandy Widener and their daughter, Chase.   “There is no way to describe the pain of this terrible, terrible tragedy,” 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.”

The John Parr and Sandy Widener Civic Leadership Award will recognize people exemplifying John and Sandy’s commitment to and passion for improving the metro Denver community.  The cash award will be presented each fall at The Denver Foundation’s Tribute to Philanthropy in honor of John, Sandy, and their daughter Chase. 

Contributions can be made to the John Parr and Sandy Widener Community Leadership Award c/o The Denver Foundation, 55 Madison St, 8th Floor, Denver, CO  80206.  Contributions can also be made online.