One of the good guys is gone. Parry M. McRae was born July 1, 1932, in Tacoma, Wash., to Clay and Bessie McRae. He was always irrepressible, and owned motorcycles, British sports cars, and an early VW dune buddy. Parry joined the Air Force in the '50s, and taught survival training - escape and evasion - to the pilots.
Introduced to skiing and sailing by his brother, Robert, Parry made both pursuits into a wonderful life, interspersed by grudging stints at the family business, Coast Iron and Machine Works. He both crewed and skippered sailboats around Puget Sound, and delivered yachts to both coasts and Hawaii. Parry was an excellent dinghy racer, and sailed a 470 class boat on Lake Dillon.
For over 40 years, Parry, aka "Fred Frump," lived and taught skiing at Crystal Mountain, Wash.; Mount Tremblant, Canada; and Vail. In Vail, he was a member of Ski Guides, and took clients to the special places on the mountain for a catered ski experience. He loved the people he met and worked with - a fitting comment on Parry's entire life - and was lucky to have lived it in some of the most beautiful places in the world.
Downhill skiing finally got too strenuous, and Parry moved back to sea level. He supported himself with carpentry and cabinetry, as he had formerly done in only the snowless months. Golf, and another set of friends, filled his days.
Parry touched a lot of lives in a positive way, was accomplished in everything he did, and remained humble.
Parry died Oct. 11.
Surviving family are Maryalice (Danny) O'Brian, and Scott, Morgan, and John McRae. Thanks, Buz, for the great photo. It really captures his strength.
Thanks, also, to all the caregivers at Manor Care Gig Harbor.
Godspeed, Parry, and we wish you blue skies and a bump-free run.