Bob Parrott was publisher of the DeWitt Observer for 41 years, 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. Phyllis graduated from Monticello High School and taught for a few years in a one-room schoolhouse in Jones County.
Phyllis and Bob were married on 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.
The Parrotts were active in DeWitt community activities. Phyllis was a volunteer for programs at the DeWitt United Methodist Church and with Mobile Meals. Bob served at various times as president of the DeWitt Chamber of Commerce, the DeWitt Development Company, and Clinton County Women’s Health Service. He was a member of the Noon Lions Club for 41 years and held many leadership positions and was a long-time choir member of the United Methodist Church. Bob 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. No community projects inspired the Parrotts more than school improvements. They were ardent supporters of any and all school bond issues and attended all manner of school musical, theatrical and athletic 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.
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