Friends Remembered: Robert D. Parr

Carnegie Hero Robert D. Parr, 83, died at his home in Knightsville, Indiana, on Thursday, March 20, 2024. Parr received the Carnegie Medal after helping save a man from suffocation in Indianapolis on Feb. 27, 1973.

Robert D. Parr

An enamel maker at a paint plant, Parr, then 32, entered a 5-feet-deep tank after a man collapsed inside. Holding his breath, Parr moved the man to a seated position, lifted his head through the opening at the top to take another deep breath, and then, with difficulty, boosted the man, who greatly outweighed him, toward the opening. Other workers atop the tank took hold of the man and Parr, who was being affected by the fumes. When pulled from the tank, Parr was unconscious. The man was also removed, but later died. Parr recovered.

Parr was born on January 7, 1941, to Orris and Ruth Stewart Parr in Brazil, Indiana. Parr worked at Lilly Industrial Coatings in Indianapolis for 8 years. In his work career, he also worked for the Knightsville Water Department, served as town marshal in both Knightsville and Harmony, Indiana, served as a reserve deputy with the Clay County (Indian) Sheriff’s Department and was instrumental in maintaining the Knightsville and Harmony Community centers. He founded the Bob Parr Plumbing and Heating business and supported his family by his hard work and dedication.

Parr was a past member of the Brazil Elks Lodge, the Rotary, and Phi Delta Kappa’s local Chapter. He played music and was said to have a beautiful singing voice. He was described as a generous man who supported many good organizations.

On March 15, 1959, Parr married Beverly Gayle. Together they raised their children in the Knightsville area and were members of the Calvary Baptist Church. Parr is survived by his wife; sons, Robert Parr, Jr., Daniel Parr, and Joseph Parr; and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by two brothers and a son.