Cremated remains stolen
By Dan Parker
Patty Revis’s 71-year-old father died on July 1.
Two months have gone by, and now Revis has been struck by grief all over again. On Wednesday, Sept. 2, someone broke into her pickup truck at a Port Aransas condominium and stole an urn containing her father’s ashes, along with other property valued at more than $3,500.
Revis had planned to spread her father’s ashes in the Gulf of Mexico off Port Aransas. Her father, Bob Parnell, was a Tennessee resident who visited Port Aransas many times over the last 25 years. He loved the town.
Parnell and his wife, Mary Jo, agreed many years ago that they both would have their ashes spread over Port Aransas waters after they die. Bob indeed did spread his wife’s ashes in the Gulf after she died 16 years ago.
Revis was preparing to do the same for her father when the urn was stolen.
“I’ll be honest, I just feel bad,” said Revis, 45. “My father wanted to be reunited with my mother. They were married for 32 years. I was trying to carry out his wishes. All I can think of is, if someone threw the urn in a dumpster, it could end up in a landfill, and that’s not a way to treat the deceased.”
Revis said she is offering a $500 reward for the return of the urn, no questions asked.
Revis and her husband, Jim, traveled in their truck to Port Aransas on Tuesday, Sept. 2, and checked in at the La Mirage condominium. They brought some of their possessions into the condo, but not everything.
“There were a few things left in the truck we hadn’t gotten out yet,” Revis said. “One was my dad’s urn. It wasn’t one of those things we needed to bring up right that moment. Before we could get down to get the rest of the things out of the truck, someone broke into the truck and stole several things. But the urn was the most important.”
The burglar used a tool to force one of the truck doors open.
The urn was a deep-brown mahogany vessel that was six to eight inches square and 16 to 18 inches tall. One sticker on the bottom says, “Memphis Funeral Home,” and another says, “Cremains of Robert G. Parnell.”
Also stolen were possessions including a radar detector, an iPod, a Blackberry communications device, a laptop computer and tools.
Revis filed a report with the Port Aransas Police Department. The Corpus Christi Police Department is investigating some other burglaries that happened around the same time a little further down State Hwy. 361, just inside the Corpus Christi city limits, according to PAPD Lt. James Stokes. Port Aransas police will be getting together with CCPD to compare notes, Stokes said.
Revis and her husband have been pulling out all the stops in efforts to find the urn, doing everything from checking dumpsters to contacting Coastal Bend news organizations.
In addition to Revis and her husband, nine relatives were planning to travel to Port Aransas to head out on the boat to spread the ashes. Even though the urn is missing, the family still will go out on the boat, Revis said.
“We’ll still be together and still celebrate my dad’s life,” she said. “We aren’t going to let this stop us. But we would like to have him with us.”
Revis is hoping that the urn will turn up before the boat trip Sunday. Anyone who finds the urn could drop it off with the Port Aransas Police Department. The non-emergency phone number at PAPD is (361) 749-6241.