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Friends mourn local teacher Renee Parr, who died suddenly at age 30

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HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- Family and friends are remembering the life of Renee Parr.

The 30-year-old mother, wife and teacher died Monday after her heart suddenly stopped.

"She lit up a room anytime she walked in," said close friend Emily Young.

Parr married her high school sweet heart and the two had a two-year-old daughter together.

"She's helped me become the woman I want to be, the mom I want to be," said Sabrina Minter.

A makeshift memorial has been set up at the entrance of Mechanicsville Elementary School. Parr had taught first grade at the school since 2006.

Memorial for Renee Parr outside Mechanicsville Elementary.

Memorial for Renee Parr outside Mechanicsville Elementary.

"She probably would have been most spirited," said close friend Lacey Thurston, "If they had a character dress up day or some kind of school spirit day she was dressed to the hilt."

Parr was born in Mechancsville and graduated from Radford University.  Along with teaching at Mechanicsville Elementary, Parr was also a cheer coach at Atlee High School, her own alma mater.

Parr's close friends said that their group has become even closer since her passing.

"There's going to be a pretty big hole where she's made an impact on a lot of people's lives," said Young. "She's going to really make us appreciate life and appreciate the small things."

Renee's Cheerios Fund has been setup in her honor to benefit the students of Mechanicsville Elementary School.  Donations can be sent to:

Hanover Education Foundation
Attn: Renee's Cheerios
P.O. Box 1297
Ashland, Va. 23005


  • Victoria Roth

    Renee was a pregnant mother. Her students will remember her, and all the good she did for them. She made the world a better place. For 8 years she taught the first grade, and helped shape our future. You could not see her and not smile.
    You are a miserable troll, and you would have benefited from a meeting with her.

  • Laura Balderson Judy

    Did not know her, but it sounds like she made a huge impact on those that did and the school. So sorry. The negative comment was so unnecessary. I am sad that anyone would make such a comment at such s difficult time. Sounds like she will be remembered respectfully and lovingly. Hope her family finds comfort in that. … Laura

  • Jay

    Most of the posters: Get over yourselves.
    Didn’t know the woman.
    Given her age, background and apparent physical condition it is not unlikely medication, supplements and lifestyle did not play a role.
    Seems WE never seem to see this type of reaction when it is a black, poor single mother who dies.

  • Timmy McFadden

    This is sad. She was so young. She didn’t even live long enough to file for divorce and be awarded child support and alimony, which is what 2 out of every 3 women eventually do.

    • paula

      Timmy why would you said this about this lady marriage. If you could read above third grade level you would know from comments that she was happly marry. Just because your marriage fail you can’t said that about all women.

      • Jay

        Paula, your writing skills are quite poor.
        The story is about a pretty white girl; thus, it appears it is taboo to wonder or question what is Not in the article. I don’t know if his stats are correct; but, McFadden is free to express his feelings. More than a few divorces have been a surprise to friends and family observers.

      • Timmy McFadden

        My stats are correct. 1/2 of all marriages fail, 2/3rds of the divorces are initiated by women, that’s a fact. She may have been pretending she was happy, all along strategically planning to walk when she could wipe her husband out in divorce court. That’s how it works.

    • Belsma

      Timmy, your “stats” may be correct, but really has nothing to do with this article or the kind of life this woman lived. I am sorry you seem so miserable. Perhaps if you started looking at the positive side of getting through life you could have a better attitude. Not all woman are out to “get” you in a negative way.

  • Meghan

    I want to know more about why her heart suddenly stopped? That doesn’t make sense. Did she have a illness? heart disease? a heart muscle condition? 30 year old hearts just don’t stop

    • Victoria Roth

      She had Cardiac Arrhythmia. Unfortunately, that knows no age, gender or race. Many people die from it daily. The reason her story is making news is because people that love her have requested it. She made an impact. It has nothing to do with race or gender. A teacher meets a lot of people and impacts a lot of lives.

      • Paula

        Jay you are heartless. How dare you ask overdose. Who do u think u are? Suppose this lady was a member of your family? Oop I forgot your family ran from you.

  • Sam

    WTVR really should terminate the comments feature after the article. I suspect they will in time. Too many comments are egregiously ignorant, insensitive, or off topic. Too many posters comment simply for the attention be it praise or rebuke. Unfortunately it is not as simple as it appears for a serious and normally intelligent reader to ignore the comments. The comments are akin to a gruesome accident on the highway where most people are compelled to look at it.

  • L Miller

    She was one of my daughter’s favorite teachers. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family. A beautiful young woman, with a beautiful spirit. She will be missed.

  • Adrienne Hollifield

    30 year olds do not usually die suddenly with no warning or illness. If she had cardiac arrhythmia, which is a heart condition, it would have been found by a doctor on a visit. She didn’t just suddenly develop it. Most palpitations are benign and wouldn’t cause death. Maybe something else was going on. Either way RIP she was a beautiful woman.

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