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Michael William Parrow


Michael William Parrow was born March 31, 1892, near Marlow, SD, the youngest son of 11 children born to Odile (Dumas) and Edward Parrow.  He married Lena Decker, daughter of Matt and Mary Decker on May 27, 1914.  

Their oldest daughter, Eleanor was born in 1914, a second daughter, Virginia was born in 1918.  On August 26, 1929, a son, Darwin Michael was born and a second son, Dean John was born January 20, 1932. In addition, several nephews lived with them at various times, several stayed until they were 18 years old.

Mike and Lena farmed near Marlow, SD until 1929.  They then moved to Havana, ND, where they continued to farm on farms owned by J.D. Powers. In 1942, Mike purchased the business later known as Mike's Bar in Havana, ND and the family moved into the town of Havana. Mike ran the bar until he retired in 1965.  Failing health forced the retirement.

Practically all his life Mike was an avid musician. He was a self taught musician and even transposed music to suit the instruments of his band.  He had started a dance band in the early 1920's.  He also taught a number of young people (including his children) to play various instruments.  Mike, himself played alto sax, tenor sax and violin.  The band too was given up because of health.  However, he continued to play the violin until his death.  He often played that violin for the grandchildren.

All during his retirement his health continued to fail and he was hospitalized many times.  He died September 27, 1977 at Marshall County Hospital, Britton, SD at the age of 85.

After Mike's death, Lena spent the winters in Fargo with Virgina and Howard Johnson.  Then in early 1992 Lena moved to live with Eleanor in her Fargo home.  Lena was 100 and 1/2 years old when shed died April 26, 1997 at Rosewood on Broadway after a 6 month stay.

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