In Memory

Harry (Bob) Parsons, Jr. - Class Of 1944

Bob Parsons 
(February 6, 1926 - March 24, 2011) 

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Bob Parsons

U.S. Veteran

Harry Robert Parsons Jr. was born on February 6, 1926 to Harry Robert Parsons Sr. and Grace Nannette Hallmark Parsons at home on the family ranch east of Fort Sumner. He departed this life on March 24, 2011 at home in Roswell surrounded by his loving family.

Bob was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years Frances Eileen Cozzens Parsons and his five brothers and sisters: RADM William Sterling Parsons, Critchell Parsons, Dr. Clarissa Parsons Fuller, Amelia Jane Parsons, and Richard Hallmark Parsons.

He is survived by a son Dr. Harry R. Parsons and wife Patricia of Dexter, grandchildren Clay and Chelsea Cohorn of Whitesboro, TX, Patrick and Brittney Cohorn and great granddaughter Halle of Midland, TX, and Bonnie Eileen Parsons of North Richland Hills, TX. Daughters Dr. Sally Parsons of Greeley, CO, Janet Thorson, husband Kurt, and grandsons Ahren and Alex of Albuquerque, Debbie Harrelson, husband Colt, grandchildren Jake and Andi of Ruidoso, and main caregiver Diane Parsons of the home.

Bob graduated from Fort Sumner High School in May of 1944 and as many of his generation, immediately left for boot camp. After finishing basic training at Camp Pendleton in California, he joined the 4th Marine Division at Camp Maui, Hawaii and participated in the assault on Iwo Jima with the 24th Marine Regiment in February 1945. He was seriously wounded on Iwo in March of 1945 and returned to Fort Sumner after a lengthy convalescence at Naval Hospitals across the Pacific.

He married the love of his life, Eileen Cozzens, on December 23, 1951. After graduation from Eastern New Mexico University he began teaching at Fort Sumner Schools in 1956. Bob taught History and Social Studies for over thirty years at Fort Sumner Schools and once counted over 6,000 students in his old grade books.

He became quite a well consulted and often cited authority on many aspects of New Mexico and especially De Baca county history visiting many of the old historical sites with some of the eye witnesses to New Mexico’s turbulent Territorial days. He wrote historical articles for the De Baca County News for many years and also authored many small books and pamphlets, but his planned comprehensive history of New Mexico was never completed.

Bob was a member of the First Methodist Church in Fort Sumner his entire life and thoroughly enjoyed his fellowship there.

Bob was a gifted artist painting many works including the murals in the Fort Sumner downtown area.

He was also an accomplished handy man and had a fine touch building and repairing anything small and delicate from tools, instruments and fine jewelry to the house his family lived in. One of his most endearing characteristics was an incomparable and unparalleled sense of humor.

Of all his passions he valued most his time spent outdoors with his family whether hunting, fishing, poking around old ruins, or watching the spectacular New Mexico weather and starry skies. He discerned the hand of God in everything he saw in nature, and through his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ he had faith he would see us all on the other side. Until then his spirit will live on in print, on canvas and through the lives of the many students he touched.

The family will receive friends Sunday from 1PM to 4PM at the Chavez Funeral Home.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 AM Monday, March 28, 2011 from First United Methodist Church in Fort Sumner Sister Anna Teeter will officiate. Burial will follow in the Parsons family plot, Fort Sumner Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Patrick Cohorn, Jacob Harrelson, Caleb Elliott, Jason Elliott, Ben Elliott, Stephen Elliott, Andy Roybal, and John Eastwood. Honorary bearers will include Colt Harrelson, Kurt Thorson, Clay Cohorn, Alex Thorson, Ahren Thorson, Gary Cozzens, L.C. Cozzens, Doyle Cozzens, Bob West, Charles West, Red West, Tex Elliott, Bill Stanton and James Stanton along with all his many friends.

All arrangements are under the direction of Chavez Funeral Home, 830 N. Fifth Street; Fort Sumner, NM 88119. (575) 355-2311

To place an online tribute or sign the guest book please visit www.chavezfuneralhome.com 

 

OUR SINCERE THANKS TO JOSEPH (LEE) ROSENBERGER FOR THE INFORMATION AND PHOTOS POSTED BELOW!

 

HISTORY OF ABLE COMPANY/24TH REGIMENT, UNITED STATES MARINE CORP AND THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENTS ON IWO JIMA ARE LOCATED HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 
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04/11/11 11:03 PM #1    

Dale Burge (1960)

THE INFORMATION POSTED BELOW WAS PUBLISHED IN THE DE BACA COUNTY NEWS ON APRIL 7TH, 2011.  WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK MARY ANN WEST WHO WROTE THE ARTICLE AND SCOT STINNET, PUBLISHER,  FOR ALLOWING US TO POST IT.

 

   

 

REMEMBERING BOB PARSONS:  HISTORIAN, AUTHOR, ARTIST, WAR HERO

 

     I appreciate the opportunity to add a little more to the Bob Parsons' story.  In going through old clippings and other items, I can see just how much historical writing he did and how much he accomplished, although my collection is far from complete.  Bob was a man of contrasts; the teenager who went to war, survived terrible injuries and lived well into old age; the serious man who had a sense of fun; the scholar who could have taught history at a great university, but chose our small school where he touched thousands of lives; and the man who could talk to people at the Smithsonian, but be equally interested in a story from a sheep camp.  His lifelong pursuit of truth, his willingness to dig in old books and articles, his endless interest in his fellow man, his love of the Pecos River country, all added up to a man of many talents

     Most importantly, he was always willing to share his knowledge with anyone interested.  Years ago I sat down by Bob in the drug store and asked him to tell me about the John Chisum open range, his long rail brand and the jingle bob earmark. He started talking, then reached for a napkin and sketched the famous earmark.  His research, of course, had led him to understand the importance of the Chisum ranch as it related to area history.  It was such a pleasure to ask him something, watch him think for a minute, then reel off what you wanted to know.

     His writings included "Ghosts, Blackholes, and Pecos Diamonds" as serialized in the De Baca County News, along with numerous illustrations.  I saved a lot of them and wish to get them into better order and donate them to the school library.  His work on the Mid Pecos Historical Society and its publication of the book Living Water is another huge achievement.  He seemed never to stop giving.  Painting the large murals on the bowling alley wall which chronicles the region's history; riding in a cherry picker nearly 90 feet up to take cuttings of the remaining historic Fremont cottonwoods, planted by the Navajos and Apaches, thus preserving the old giants forever;  researching De Baca County's water rights thoroughly and testifying about the age and status of rights at important meetings; interviewing "old timers," and writing numerous articles; answering endless questions; and encouraging thousands of students' interest in history.

     And knowing the history of the Bosque Redondo so well, he was able to work toward the facility we now have.  I touch on only a few of his achievements as it's impossible to track them all.

     Oh, I must add that in his spare time he designed the first ever De Baca County flag!

     And so, I suspect that, early on the morning of March 24, the Marine stood ramrod straight as he snapped a salute one last time and heard the glorious words:  "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

     We are so fortunate to have had Bob Parsons as our real Pecos Diamond.


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