Former Fairbanks legislator Charlie Parr dies

Posted: Sunday, March 26, 2000

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Charlie Parr, a former state legislator who later served on a number of public boards and commissions, died Thursday at his Chena Hot Springs home after a long battle with cancer. He was 82.

''He's sort of the Jimmy Carter of the Alaska Legislature,'' said Mike Davis of Dillingham, a former Fairbanks legislator who began his political education as an aide to Parr in the mid-1970s. ''He never stopped working on behalf of the people.''

Parr was born and raised in Mobile, Ala. He earned a degree from the University of Alaska in Fairbanks in two years and later he earned a master's degree while teaching German and Russian in the language department.

In 1970 Parr took a job at the Rasmuson Library as Arctic bibliographer, and wrote a book called ''Early Alaska Imprints,'' a standard reference used today.

In 1972 he won a three-year term on the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly, serving as presiding officer the second year before winning a seat in the state Legislature.

In his eight years in the Legislature, Parr was instrumental in the passage of laws relating to the Permanent Fund, Mental Health Trust and rights for the mentally ill, land entitlements, and freedom of public information.

''It's an impressive list of bills,'' said former legislator Brian Rogers. ''I looked to him for what was right on civil rights and human rights issues. Charlie was unfailingly a preserver of civil liberties.''

After leaving the Legislature, Parr served as a Permanent Fund trustee, as well as on the Bicentennial Commission, Commission on Post Secondary Education and most recently, the Board of Personnel and the Public Employees Retirement Board.

An avid genealogist and historian, Parr recently completed a history of theater in Fairbanks.



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