Apr 12, 2010 10:43 PM by Matt Stafford

Remembering a friend

Friends came together to say one last goodbye to a friend who was very valuable to the community in many ways, Peggy Parr.

Parr, who was active in many local groups and on the El Paso County Search and Rescue team, passed away this month at the age of 87.

A memorial hike was planned at Garden of the Gods, but being a Monday morning they didn't expect very many people to come out. Well, they thought wrong.

"Other people were interested and (we said) sure come along, and here all these people showed up," says Ethel Even, a hiking friend of Parr's.

Around two-dozen hikers hit the trail in Parr's honor.

"I'll bet she's watching this and just getting a charge out of all these people that showed up to remember her today," Even exclaims.

"This is the perfect thing to remember Peggy, hiking, says Mel Druelinger. "That was Peggy."

"She would go up Cheyenne Canyon a lot, and I'd see her with her walking stick, says her former neighbor Ellen Booth, who says she took inspiration from Parr.

One of those trips to Cheyenne Canyon for Parr introduced her to a group she soon became an important part of. That day, Parr led Druelinger and El Paso County Search and Rescue to two people who were stranded.

They were quickly impressed.

"Then we said why don't you join the group," explains Druelinger.

At the nimble age of 59, Druelinger says Parr hesitated, but she quickly gained the respect of her team. He says she helped save many lives in the time that she worked with the team, from the age of 59 until she was 65.

"We knew that if Peggy was on the team, we didn't have to worry about that person at all," Druelinger explains.

However, it wasn't only the daring rescues where Parr touched people, it was also just on a casual hike.

"Peggy gave me this stick," Even says of a walking stick given to her by Parr on a trip to the Grand Canyon. Even now remembers her friend on every trail she walks with her new stick, but no longer gets to join her.

"She's hiking a better trail today," Even says.

Parr wrote a book about her search and rescue experiences called, Mountain High, Mountain Rescue. Her friends from the search and rescue team say it's unique because it's a woman's perspective in a male dominated field.


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