Dr. John “Jack” Clayton Parry was born in Windsor, Ontario on the 18th of June, 1922. Dr. Parry was the 3rd of 5 children born to John Thomas Parry and the former Rebecca L’Anson. According to the 1931 census, Dr. Parry’s father worked as a salesman for a brewery and his siblings were; Leslie James Parry, Albert L’Anson Parry, Gwendolyn Myra Parry and Alwyn Grace Parry. In 1931, the Parry family resided at 220 Chippewa Street in Sandwich, Ontario which is now part of Windsor. Dr. Parry attended General Brock Public School and Sandwich (Forester) Collegiate Institute. Dr. Parry was involved in track and field, where he set many long standing Ontario records in the long jump and the 100 and 220 yard dash. He also played football and baseball. He was scouted to play for the Cleveland Indians baseball team before World War II broke out.
Instead of playing professional baseball, Dr. Parry enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force where he trained as a fighter pilot. Due to a shortage of bomber pilots, when he was assigned to active duty overseas and he piloted a Lancaster Bomber. On one of the thirty-eight missions Dr. Parry piloted, his aircraft was struck after a plane in his squadron dropped a bomb that struck and damaged the wing on his plane. Dr. Parry piloted his aircraft back to the base and landed it safely, saving the lives of all the men on board. For his extraordinary actions in safely landing the aircraft, Dr. Parry was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery beyond the call of duty. During his time in the Royal Canadian Air Force, Dr. Parry was the starting half-back for the RCAF Hurricanes who won the Grey Cup in 1942.
Dr. Parry enrolled in the medical program at the University of Western Ontario in January of 1946. While completing his studies, he was active in athletics. Dr. Parry served as Captain of the 1948 Western Mustang champion football team and he was a member of the 1948 relay track team, which set national records in the 880 yard race and the one mile relay event. He set a Canadian record in the 100 yard event. In 1948 for his athletic endeavours, Dr. Parry was awarded: the McCullach Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the football team, the Dr. Claude Brown Trophy for Western’s top male athlete, and the J.W. Davies Trophy for Canada’s most outstanding male track athlete.
Also in 1948, Dr. Parry earned a spot on the Canadian Olympic Track team; however, an injury prevented him from competing in the London England Olympic Games. After completing university, Dr. Parry was offered a chance to play for the Canadian Football league, which he declined.
Graduating with a medical degree from the University of Western Ontario in 1950, Dr. Parry completed an internship at Victoria Hospital in Family Medicine. He furthered his studies at the Detroit Receiving Hospital where he completed his residency in anesthesia.
Dr. Parry was married to Mildred “Ann” Huffman. Mrs. Parry was born in Blenheim, Ontario on the 12th of April, 1930. She was the 3rd of 3 children born to Malcolm Huffman and the former Mildred Phillis Clark. Her father was a lawyer and her siblings were Margaret Huffman and John “Jack” Edward Huffman. Mrs. Parry attended Blenheim District High School and Chatham Collegiate Institute in Chatham, prior to attending the University of Western Ontario.
Moving to Chatham in 1956, Dr. Parry was Chatham’s first formally trained anesthesiologist. Mrs. Parry ran office out of their home for many years. He served as Chief of Anesthesia at the Public General Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital. In 1974, the Parry family resided at 574 King Street West.
Dr. and Mrs. Parry had 4 children; Jann, Jay, Jill and John.
Dr. Parry reluctantly retired from medicine in 1988 due to ill health. He always said that it was a privilege to be able to do the kind of work that he did. He maintained an interest in athletics – golfing or jogging in his spare time. He was selected as a Charter Member of the University of Western Ontario’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1978, and he was given the same honour in the City of Windsor’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1984. He also became a member of the Western Wall of Fame for Outstanding Athletes in 2005.
Mrs. Parry volunteered at the Public General Hospital and enjoyed curling, sailing, golfing and playing bridge.
Dr. Parry died on the 14th of December, 1990.
After the death of her husband, Mrs. Parry married Dr. Francis “Frank” Scarfone and she moved to Windsor. Dr. Scarfone was a dedicated family physician in Windsor for over 50 years. He died on the 20th of September, 2021.
Mrs. Parry (Scarfone) died on the 17th of July, 2023 at the Chatham-Kent Hospice. Dr. and Mrs. Parry are interred at Evergreen Cemetery in Blenheim.
Tombstone Photo Credit: Anne F.
*To recognize athletic accomplishments, high academic standing, leadership skills, sportsmanship and contribution to the community, a scholarship in Dr. Parry’s Name is awarded annually to two area students.
**Dr. Parry’s father, John Parry served overseas with the Canadian Armed Services during WWI.
***Dr. Parry’s brother Albert L’Anson, Parry served with the Royal Canadian Navy during WWII.
****Mrs. Parry’s father, Malcolm Huffman served overseas with the Canadian Armed Services during WWI. He appears on the Gathering Our Heroes website.