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Calvin Parmele

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Calvin Parmele Obituary
Calvin Ursel Parmele, 90

Calvin Ursel Parmele, 90, passed away on December 3, 2012, at Jasper County Hospital in Rensselaer, Indiana. Ursel was born February 12, 1922, the second son of six children of the late Earl and Iris Parmele of Mackinaw, Illinois. He graduated from Mackinaw High School in 1939. He entered the U.S. Army in 1943 and served overseas in Europe with Patton's 3rd Army 87th Division, 336th Field Artillery Battalion, Battery B in the capacity as a forward observer. He saw action in the "Battle of the Bulge", Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe, as well as the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp. Upon his discharge from the Army, he returned to Illinois and entered college at Illinois State Normal College in Bloomington, Illinois, where he graduated in 1951 with a B.S. degree in Agriculture.

Ursel taught science in LaRosa, Illinois, as well as night classes for returning veterans. In 1951, he married the late Myrna Beasly of Witt, Illinois. They met while in college. In 1953, he moved to Rensselaer, Indiana to become a District Sales Manager for Funk's Brothers Seed Co. of Bloomington, Illinois. In 1972, he became an independent wholesaler for Golden Harvest Seed Co., affiliated with the Sommer Brothers Seed Co. of Pekin, Illinois.

In the 1960's, Ursel headed up the March of Dimes Annual Dance at St. Joseph's College, and had the opportunity to meet Dr. Jonas Salk. In the early 1970's, he served on the Rensselaer City Council for one term. Ursel was active in the First Presbyterian Church of Rensselaer, serving as elder and on session for numerous terms. He was also instrumental in the location, acquisition, and establishment of The Geneva Center, a youth camp and conference center, in Rochester, Indiana, and was appointed to a term as Vice Moderator for the Presbyterian Synod of Indiana.

Known as "Mr. Corn", for his vast knowledge of corn, he raised and processed broomcorn to make hand-made brooms that he marketed in outlets in four states. His summertime treat was to raise sweet corn with his grandchildren, which they sold at a stand located on his farm west of Rensselaer. In his retirement years, he took great pleasure in popping corn for social affairs at their retirement village in Arizona.

Ursel and his wife of 60 years, Myrna, spent 30 years as "snowbirds" in Mesa, Arizona where he enjoyed playing golf. He was also an active member of Curtis Creek Country Club in Rensselaer, Indiana.

The Parmele's celebrated 60 years of marriage in February and leave two sons, Paul (Abbie) Parmele, and Scott (Deb) Parmele, both residing in Rensselaer, Indiana; three grandchildren, Logan (Lora) Parmele, Kyle Brant-Goss and Claire Parmele. Also surviving are one sister, Noreen Haubrock of Mesa, Arizona, and one brother, Jerry (Karan) Parmele of Mackinaw, Illinois.

A Memorial Service for Ursel will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. (CST) at the First Christian Church of Rensselaer with Rev. Ann Smith-Williams officiating. Interment with military rites will follow at Weston Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Birthright of Rensselaer or The Good Samaritan Food Pantry. Steinke Funeral Home of Rensselaer is handling the arrangements. Share memories and condolences online at

Published in the Journal & Courier from Dec. 6 to Dec. 8, 2012
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