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Obituary for Donald J. Parthum Sr.

Donald  J.  Parthum Sr.
DONALD J. PARTHUM, SR.

Donald J. Parthum, Sr., long-time resident of Grosse Pointe Park, passed away on Wednesday, August 3, 2016, in his home, surrounded by his family.

Don was born on July 26, 1933, the second son of John W. and Josephine C. Parthum. He attended St. Clare of Montefalco grade school, University of Detroit High School, University of Detroit and Detroit College of Law. While attending University of Detroit, he began working as an investigator at the FBI and met his co-worker and future wife, Karen Marrs. Karen would often be seen at the Student Center at University of Detroit, reading a book and waiting for Don to finish class. He would often give her his famous ‘cheek’ when telling her if she really wanted to fit in, to be sure she was holding her book the right way up. They were married on July 20, 1957, and recently celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary.

After graduating Detroit College of Law, Don began working at Plunkett Cooney, P.C., in Detroit, Michigan and continued to work there throughout his entire legal career. He was a partner of the law firm and concentrated his practice in the area of Workers' Compensation. Don was the epitome of selflessness, kindness, giving, and generosity. A devoted family man, and a loving father to his children Donald, Jr. (Liz), Pamela McCarthy (Tim), Jeffrey (Laura), and Nicole (Derek Stevens).

He is Poppa to his cherished grandchildren Katherine, Caroline, Caitlin, Alexander, Madison, Whitney, Sammy, and Sera.

The dear younger brother of John "Jack" Parthum (Nancy). Included among his loved ones are his in-laws Gene and Judy Clarke, Mike and Donna Marrs, Walter and Kathy Marrs, Frank and Mary Ann Semelsberger, Ron and Linda Quick, and Tim and Sue Marrs. Not to be forgotten are his many loved nieces and nephews.

An avid book enthusiast, with an extensive collection of Mystery novels, he would rarely be seen without a hardcover under his arm. He was particularly known for his interest in Sherlock Holmes, the famous sleuth created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Don was a longtime supporter of Grosse Pointe Park Little League. For 11 years, he was the coach of the Pirates, winning four World Series Championships in a row. He was an avid golfer and longtime member of Huron Shores Golf Club, and a former member of the Grosse Pointe Hunt Club, where he and Karen enjoyed many tennis matches with their friends.

One can’t think of Don without thinking of his fierce loyalty to the Detroit Tigers. He spent many summer nights listening to Tiger games on his transistor radio. Don spent his 70th birthday in a suite at Comerica Park accompanied by Ernie Harwell.

Throughout their life, Don and Karen were frequent jet-setters, making many trips all over the world with their favorite locations being Jamaica and Ireland.

Don was a fun loving, happy go lucky person, who loved life, telling a good joke or pulling a prank on any unsuspecting family member or friend. As a devoted family man, he enjoyed nothing more than traveling and spending time with the entire family (he especially loved the two together).

A man of faith and a lifelong member of St. Clare parish, he served on the athletic commission and was in the inaugural class of Eucharistic Ministers. Over the years he had a special relationship with the parish priests who often times would attend family events. A funeral mass was held at St. Clare on Monday, August 8, 2016, where many family and friends gathered to celebrate Don's life. Donations may be made to St. Clare of Montefalco Catholic Church, 1401 Whittier, Grosse Pointe Park, MI 48230, or University of Detroit Mercy, University Advancement, 4001 W. McNichols Rd., Detroit, MI 48221.

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