Donald (“Don”) Lawrence Parrot—beloved father, grandfather, brother, uncle, friend, neighbor and relentless DIYer—passed peacefully at his home in Parker, Colorado surrounded by his family.
Don lived his life with love, jubilation and ingenuity. His family and friends knew him as patient, caring, and fun-loving. His colleagues appreciated his keen intellect, determination, and sense of humor. He never met a problem that (he believed) couldn’t be solved, and always looked forward to life’s challenges. He loved to dance, play practical jokes, try out new recipes, and drive fast cars. He often joked that he could fix things simply by taking them apart and putting them back together. He was an excellent listener, could make a connection with nearly anyone, and cheered the people he knew through his enthusiasm, patience, and kind heart.
Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Don was the oldest child of Dr. Donald J. and Anne P. Parrot. He grew up in Fort Wayne with his younger brothers and sisters and many cousins, spending weekends swimming and water skiing at nearby lakes. He graduated from Central Catholic High School of Fort Wayne Indiana in 1964, where he played football and basketball, and was sports editor for the school paper.
Don subsequently earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Indiana University and a Master of Health Administration from the Indiana University School of Medicine. He then began a successful career with his first job in healthcare management at the Northeastern Wisconsin Health Planning Council in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Don was proud of his professional accomplishments, including a proprietary statistical model for healthcare and fitness market research that drove his successful entrepreneurial business for decades. Prior to this, he was an executive in several large healthcare systems, where he used his exceptional technology skills to manage healthcare challenges. In his retirement, Don dedicated his professional skills to improving his community. He organized neighborhood picnics and meetings, contributed his valuable public health skills and expertise to the Tri-County Board of Health as a representative of Douglas County, Colorado, and was active in the Douglas County Republican Party.
It was during his student years at Indiana University that Don met the love of his life, Mary Ann Watson Parrot (nee Megeath), and they married in April of 1970. Don and Mary Ann had two children and remained married for over 50 years until her passing in December 2020, following a long battle with myeloma during which Don’s unwavering love and support gave her the strength to fight. Family time with the Parrots often involved long walks on nearby trails, movie nights with home-made popcorn, and various card games. In their empty-nest years, Don and Mary Ann adored traveling together, especially around the Mountain West in their “Bigfoot” fifth-wheel camper that Don refurbished. They also cherished time with their grandchildren – playing board games, doing puzzles, and reading books.
Don expressed his creative problem-solving acumen through his many hobbies, including woodworking, auto restoration and repair, home remodeling, DIY handywork, and innovative attempts to relocate pesky squirrels who invaded the territory of his treasured springer spaniels. Along with a litany of refurbished houses, cars, and home appliances, he passed on his optimism and can-do attitude to those around him. He often enlisted his family and friends in his projects, sharing his self-taught DIY skills. Among his daughter Kate’s fondest memories were working alongside Don at age 15 to restore a nonworking 1970 Triumph GT6 Coupe that had been stored for years in an old barn. Don would draw long, deep sighs when they hit an impasse in the project, which happened frequently. He would freely admit he had no idea what to do. But he had little fear to try something—anything! He’d consider the problem and work it logically from multiple angles until he found a way forward. Don’s enduring gift, and the subject of much good-natured ribbing by his friends and family, was his determination to tackle unfamiliar territory through patient observation and persistent tinkering.
Don will be remembered as many things—quick with a smile and a laugh, rare to anger, patient and devoted to his children and family, a determined problem solver, playful, often silly, sometimes zany—but most all, as a kindhearted and loving man.
Don is survived by his children, Kate and James, his grandchildren Mira, Vaughn, David and Eli, and his siblings Chuck, Deb, Susie, Michael and Cindy, and his beloved springer spaniel, “Bonnie Lass.”
Private services will be held in Don’s memory. Those wishing to honor his life are invited to post memories and final words here, and/or make a donation in his honor to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation at www.themmrf.org.
Please share memories of Don and condolences with his family by signing the Tribute Wall above.