Transportation 20

Duane Darrell Parr

May 20, 1936 ~ April 7, 2021 (age 84)


Duane Darrell Parr, 84, of Moscow, passed away Wednesday April 7, 2021 at home. He was born May 20, 1936 in Sandpoint, ID to Harry and Selma Parr. He moved with his family to Moscow when he was thirteen.

Duane (aka “Tamarack” ) graduated from Moscow High School in 1954.  High School was a wild ride with his car buddies drag racing in Spokane and stock car racing at Riverside, south of Potlatch, every weekend.  Duane was one of the pit crew for #77, driven by Ron Scrivner and sponsored by McGraw’s Conoco station (corner of 6th and Main, Moscow).    During the summer he worked with a logging crew to earn gas money (30¢ per gallon).  He and his car pals could cruise Main Street on Saturday night on $1 worth of gas.

Duane and Joyce would have celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary on Friday, April 9.   Nothing fancy that wedding was:  eloped, married by a JP, followed by a burger, fries and Strawberry milkshake.

In the late 50’s he went to work in the grain elevator/warehouse at Washburn Wilson Seed Co./Dumas Seed (where he fell through to the floor below after getting a whiff of cyanide they used to kill rats).  Next it was driving for Garrett Freight Lines (until he injured his back in a serious car accident).  But his favorite job was driving cement mixer for Ace/Central Premix/Motley& Motley Inc.  He was a member of the “Million Mile Club (no accidents) and even won Central’s slogan contest “This Mud’s for You”.  He retired after 29 years.

With Duane it was always about his vehicles:  Loved his Harley until his Harley and a cow collided -- black cow, black highway, black night, no moon.  Of his cars, his favorite was a 1962 red Chevy convertible.  After the first 2 kids were born, his prized 1962 red Chevy convertible was traded in for a more family-friendly car – a station wagon (can’t say he was thrilled over that.). 

Duane was happiest being outdoors - rain or shine:  ● tinkering in his 30x60 shop ● remodeling their home ● building a 70 ft 3 level terrace  ● trying to keep up with Joyce’s project list (including Garden Club)  ● mowing their 4+ acres on his 400 John Deere or bundled up in his Carhartt’s plowing the snow from the 600 feet of driveway.  ● Weekends at the lake with family and his 1975 yellow ABC American ● and most important of all he was a boisterous athletic supporter of his children and grandchildren.

Not much of a traveler, his most favorite trip was piloting a 35ft houseboat up the Rideau Canal starting in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.  Other family and friend adventures:  7 of the family rented a motorhome and explored the territory from Moscow to Colorado  (culminating in Golden CO with a VIP tour to  [as  Butch would say] the Colorado Kool-Aid store);  rafting on the Salmon (in a snow storm); snowmobiling in  Yellowstone (the buffalo still roam in the dead of winter) ; Arizona for a week of Spring Training with Mariners; cross country from Idaho to New York the week after 9/11, with side trips in search of Route 66;  Florida for various car museums, events and shows including the Gator Nationals and always, always  the flea markets in Florida (that would be a flea market for car parts). 

Duane stuck pretty close to home in 2020, but if he ventured out you would recognize him by his 7 dwarfs mask: “Grumpy”.

Duane is survived by his wife, Joyce; his children, Randy (Vicky) Parr of Pullman,  Shelley (Paul) Smetana of Helena, MT,  and Leslie (Todd) Martin of Moscow;  grandchildren Christina Smetana Eichler (Jon),  DJ Smetana (Michele),  Matthew Martin (Sadie),  Kellen Martin and Alec Martin; great-grandchildren Jay and Carter Smetana,  Trey Eichler (and coming soon a brother and sister for Trey).  Duane was preceded in death by his parents and grandson David Michael Smetana.

A family gathering is planned for summer to celebrate Duane’s life.

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