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Michael Sherwin Parr



Michael Sherwin Parr, 82, of Sacramento, California, formerly of Detroit, Michigan, died on 25 March 2024.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Michael Sherwin Parr grew up surrounded by a lot of family as well as close friends who remain so to this day. He was quite an accomplished athlete, playing various sports. As a teenager, Michael went to work in his father’s dry-cleaning business Parr French Cleaners in Detroit. In 1958, Michael graduated from Mumford High School and then attended University of Michigan, along with some of the same close friends from childhood, all of whom became doctors. Michael fast-tracked to a medical degree in seven years, later completing his residency as an OB/GYN in Detroit.

Along with his first wife, Jacqueline, and their two sons, Howard and Stuart, Michael moved to Sacramento, California to serve at Mather Air Force Base. Just before an intended move back to Detroit, Michael was offered a job at the UC Davis Medical Center and he remained in Sacramento ever since. A few short years after moving to Sacramento, Michael and Jackie had a daughter, Wendy.

Michael moved into a private medical practice at American River Hospital and later married Elizabeth “Libby,” z"l, whom he had met in kindergarten at Roosevelt Elementary. Along with Libby’s son, Jamie, and daughter, Robin, the family grew in size and closeness.

Michael then took the bravest step of his life in getting treatment for addiction. Over 40 years sober at his death, he always said it was his proudest achievement. He became board-certified in addiction and helped thousands of people overcome their addiction. It is not uncommon to meet someone at an event or on an airplane who was either delivered as a baby by Michael or counseled to sobriety by him. He lived a life of tremendous impact, winning many awards along the way, including “Sacramento Person of the Year.”

For the past nine years, Michael has been with his partner Beth Harney. She and her son, Austin, and daughter, Sarah, have been a bedrock of care for Michael when he faced health challenges of his own. Through it all, Michael continued to provide counseling to addicts and alcoholics throughout the world, always saying, “it is my purpose in life.”

Michael is predeceased by his parents David and Bertha, sister Maxine and his wife, Elizabeth Parr. He is survived by his partner Beth Harney, children Howard (Gina) Parr, Stuart (partner Ozlem) Parr, Wendy (Caroleen) Parr, Jamie (Lisa) Miller, Robin (David) Cahayla; Beth’s children, Sarah (Remko) Van Den Toorn and Austin (fiancée Alexis Bibler) Harney and his eight grandchildren, Riley, Nicole, Dylan, Carter, Claire, Harper, Teo and Kennedy; sister-in-law Ruthanne (Arvin) Pearlman, and brother-in-law Michael (Linda Seltzer-Sucher) Pickman. Michael had many friends and family in Detroit and throughout the country. Michael was interred in Sacramento, California.