Dr. Henry Donald Parry, "Don", 68, a respected pathologist, loving husband and father, passed away at his home in Mount Vernon, Washington, on Friday, July 27, 2007, from complications due to non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
Born in Utica, New York, on August 6, 1938, Don grew up in New Hartford, New York, where he attended high school with Hugh Jones. At Amherst he was a member of Theta Delta Chi and was active in sports, playing varsity football, lacrosse, and rugby. A biology major and pre-med, Don lived in Valentine Hall during his junior year in order to concentrate on organic chemistry, and became close with Mel Thomason. Don and Mel kept in touch over the years, and Don served as best man at Mel’s wedding. After graduating, Don attended Albany Medical School in 1960 and completed his medical internship at Philadelphia General Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
After serving two tours in Vietnam with the U.S. Navy, he was stationed at the Sand Point Naval Air Station in Seattle, Washington, in 1967. There he continued his medical training, beginning his residency at the University of Washington Medical Center and completing it at Seattle's Swedish Hospital in 1971. He also met Vicki Roberta Soderberg, who was working at the Seattle Public Health Hospital. The two were married in May 1968; their daughter, Vicki Vanessa, was born the following year, and in 1971 their son, John Andrew, was born.
In June 1971, Don and his family moved from Seattle to Mount Vernon where he began work at the Skagit Valley Laboratory and Blood Bank. He was diagnosed with lymphoma in 1986 but continued to work for another year, retiring in 1987. Don and Vicki continued to live in Mount Vernon until his death.
A lover of the outdoors and an avid sportsman, Don often went salmon fishing in the San Juan Islands with his son, dear friends, and colleagues, returning from these trips with salmon, fish-tales, or both. He enjoyed the local duck hunting seasons with his son and the two frequently traveled to Montana and the Dakotas for hunting trips. As a skilled woodworker, he made many cherished pieces of furniture and other items for his family and friends. To expand his woodworking knowledge, he joined the Northwest Woodworkers Group and enjoyed making toys for the group's Toys For Tots campaign each holiday season. He delighted in his membership with the An-O-Chords, a barbershop singing group in Anacortes, Washington, and happily participated in their charitable singing functions for local nursing homes, hospitals, and schools.
I didn’t know Don well at Amherst, but well enough to remember him as a person of great integrity, without pretension, who knew himself and was a pleasure to be around. He will be greatly missed.
-David Wood, ‘60