Bob Parrott was publisher of the DeWitt Observer for 41 years, from 1954 until his death in 1996. Raised in Wheaton, Illinois, he graduated from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, during which time he met Phyllis Null of Monticello. They were married Dec, 29, 1950, and moved to Maquoketa, where Bob got his start in the newspaper business. He was named Observer publisher in the fall of 1954. In 1980, he was named Master Editor-Publisher by the Iowa Press Association.
Parrott was active in community activities, serving at various times as president of the DeWitt Chamber of Commerce, the DeWitt Development Company, and Clinton County Women’s Health Services. He was a member of the Noon Lions Club for 41 years. Phyllis and Bob were members of the DeWitt United Methodist Church, where he held many leadership positions and was a long-time choir member.
He worked behind the scenes on many community projects, including the DeWitt Community Hospital, the Frances Banta Waggoner Community Library, and the DeWitt Operahouse restoration project. But no projects inspired him more than school improvements. He was an ardent supporter of any and all school bond issues and attended all manner of school athletic, musical and theatrical performances.
The Parrotts’ five children, Julie, Steve, Jeff, Sheri, and Janice, all graduated from Central Community High School. Three grandchildren are also CCHS grads. There are eight other grandchildren.
This endowment benefits language arts and journalism projects.