In Memory

Betty Parr (McAlister)

Betty Parr (McAlister)


Betty Parr was born and raised in Oklahoma City, attending Nichols Hills elementary and then Harding. She started college at the University of Oklahoma majoring in Interior Design. After her freshman year, she transferred to the University of Colorado where she joined Alpha Chi Omega sorority. Near the end of her sophomore year, she married Bill McAlister, Donna McAlister’s older brother. Bill was an Army officer who had just completed Army helicopter training and was on his way to an assignment in Germany. In the summer of 1962, Betty joined Bill in Germany. They lived in private German housing near an Army airfield in a rural area about 60 miles west of Frankfurt. Betty and Bill travelled to several countries and cities in Europe during a two year period. They enjoyed the companionship of many officer couples from throughout the United States who served in the same Army Aviation unit.
Betty and Bill returned to Oklahoma in 1964 and Betty resumed her college studies at O.U. She received her degree in Interior Design from O.U. in 1966. She later attended what was then known as Central State College, working on her masters in home economics and seeking a teaching certificate. Betty performed her practice teaching at Classen in the spring of 1968. In the meantime, Bill attended night law school at Oklahoma City University. Betty was active in the wives club of Bill’s law school fraternity, serving as the president when her husband was a senior. Following a combination business trip and vacation to California in August of 1968, Betty became ill and died unexpectedly.   

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12/17/09 07:29 PM #1    

Marcia Newlin (Ward)

Betty and I rode to Harding together for 6 years. I still cann't believe that she passed so young.

04/17/10 09:28 AM #2    

Donna McAlister (O'Keefe)

Betty and I were friends in school and then Bill and she dated in college an were married when we were in our sophomore year.   We had more adventures from that time.  After they were married, she went back to CU to finish the academic year while Bill started his duty in Germany and wait for her to come over.  So I took a bus to Boulder to help her pack up her things and we would drive back to Oklahoma together.  

I remember we went to a delightful Japanese restaurant in Denver before we came back.  It had a small stream with a bridge over it that you crossed to enter the very Oriental dining space.  It was just an adventure to go in, let alone in 1962 to enjoy Japanese cuisine.

Whatever day we left for Oklahoma City, we ended up in the Oklahoma panhandle quite late at night.  We didn't want to "worry" our families in OKC, so we didn't call them to tell them we were in a lightening storm that lit up the entire western landscape that was awesome.  We continued driving, deciding continually not to call to wake up, particularly our mothers.  Of course, they were talking to each other on the phone rather than sleeping checking if either of them had heard from us.  

How did we ever exist without cellular connections?  I so miss her.  Her sudden illness ended a creatively loving and generous life.



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