Herma Parr

Herma Maxine (Hendershott) Parr was born on a farm south of Grand Junction, Iowa, on August 10, 1920, to Baptist parents, Amy (Blanshan) and Oliver Hendershott.  She had one sister, Saramae, who was three years older than she.

Herma grew up on the farm.  The family always had a large garden and did a lot of canning and cooking. Her mother taught her to cook, sew, and “be frugal”, after all, it was in the time of the depression. She attended school in Dana, but graduated from Grand Junction, in 1938, after her parents purchased their farm, northeast of town.

She followed her mother’s footsteps, graduating with a teacher’s certificate, allowing her to teach country school. She attended UNI at Cedar Falls, that summer, and Simpson one summer, and taught for three years in Greenbrier & Bristol Townships. After that she worked four years, at the Greene County Courthouse, as secretary to the County Superintendent of Schools, who oversaw the 80 country schools in the County.  Their office provided all the books, supplies, and materials for all of those schools.  She then worked three years for the Rural Electric Cooperative (now Midland Power), and was working there when the new building (which is now the Jefferson City Hall) was built.

In September 1946 she and Jim Parr were married, after he returned home from his service with the US Army, in World War II. Jim was clerk at Joen’s Hardware, and later, he and his partner, Dick Orris, purchased the business, which was re-named Dick & Jim’s Hardware.

She and Jim were blessed with three children, Joan, Dean, and Nancy.  The whole family helped in the store in one way or another, and everyone was on board for yearly inventory! Later, after the children were all in school, Herma served as bookkeeper for the store, which was a huge job!

The family enjoyed camping in State Parks, and was very involved in Church, 4-H, Campfire, Scouts, and County Fair. She loved sewing, cooking, gardening, and taking care of the family. She kept journals of all their trips, and loved re-living those experiences, through all of the family picture albums,  in her later years. There were lots of get togethers with friends and family. The family attended Central Christian Church together nearly every Sunday. Herma & Jim taught Sunday School, and she was an active member of Church Circle and CWF.

Jim passed away in 2002, and in 2009 Herma moved to make her home, at Ever Greene Ridge. She moved to The Gardens (assisted living) in 2017.   And, in February of 2021, she moved to Regency Park Nursing and Rehab, where she was living at the time of her passing.

She had the time of her life at her 101 birthday party last August!

She is survived by her children, Joan St.Clair of Scranton, Dean (Jeannie) Parr of Cedar Rapids, Nancy (Steve) Gettler of Mesa, AZ, eight grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren, and two great great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Oliver and Amy Hendershott, her husband, Jim Parr, her sister and brother-in-law, Saramae and Merle Rowles, her sister-in-law Marjorie Baker Kurth (husbands Short Baker & Gene Kurth), and Grandson, Christopher Joseph St.Clair.

Funeral service was held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 2 at the Central Christian Church in Jefferson. Interment was Saturday, April 2 at the Jefferson Cemetery. 

Contact Us

Jefferson Bee & Herald
Address: 200 N. Wilson St.
Jefferson, IA 50129

Phone:(515) 386-4161