J. Frank Parman

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J. Frank Parman died at home in Norman February 5, 2016, after a long illness. Parman was a self-employed typesetter, a freelance writer and graphic artist, a playwright and poet, and a serious photographer. As a book publisher he is credited with over three dozen books. Most of them are poetry books for the nonprofit organization Cottonwood Arts Foundation using the imprint of the Point Riders Press founded in Norman in 1974. A believer in doing it yourself, Parman's skills included most aspects of book publishing. After twenty years in non-profit book publication, he researched a literary history of Oklahoma, from 1920 through 1945. Parman was the author of 14 produced plays, including one for educational television, one issued on an LP record, and one adaptation for radio. His book publications include Daybook of Western Heroes: poems from an outlaw calendar, and, as coauthor with Arn Henderson and Dortha Henderson, Architecture in Oklahoma: Landmark and Vernacular. As editor or co-editor he published three poetry anthologies. He has written book reviews and articles on regional history and folklore. Parman was born in Cordell, Oklahoma, where his parents, James Franklin and Lauretta Parman, were educators. He attended schools in Cordell and Corn. A graduate of Cordell High School, he attended the University of Oklahoma for over five years, majoring in architecture and then English with a philosophy minor. Parman also studied playwrighting as a special student at Columbia University. His first play, renegade in retrospect, has been produced a dozen times, including a Montreal production that received honorable mention in Canada's Dominion Drama Festival. A total of 14 of his plays were produced. Parman held several positions as writer in residence, beginning as playwrighting fellow at the Summer Play-wrights Workshop, University of Illinois (1965), then as playwright in residence at the Center of Creative and Performing Arts at the State University of New York at Buffalo 1969-1971. He was a visiting writer at a summer workshop at Georgia Southern College in 1971, and for the Wyoming Arts Council with workshops in Cheyenne and Casper in 1976 and1977. Parman conducted workshops through the Artist-in- Residence program of the State Arts Council of Oklahoma from 1976 through 1982. He received a librettist grant from the Music Division of the National Endowment for the Arts in 1974- 1975. Parman was cofounder of three different arts organizations: Cottonwood Arts Foundation (Point Riders Press); Norman Arts and Humanities Council; and Individual Artists of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City. In the early 1970s he established and directed the Renegade Theater in downtown Norman. As a visual artist his work has been shown in group exhibitions of the IAO and at Norman’s Firehouse Art Center. Parman was awarded a best of show and two honorable mentions in the Norman Photographers exhibition. Parman also has worked as an off-set printer, audiovisual technician, shipping clerk, library clerk at Columbia University's Butler Library, order-fulfillment clerk for a publisher in New York, manager of a book store, draughtsman, soda jerk in a drug store, and instructor and lifeguard at Cordell Municipal Pool. Parman is survived by his wife, Sarah Iselin; his sisters and brother, Francia Parman, Carolyn Deatherage, Earl Keith Parman, and Lynda Parman Shell and her husband, Roger; his nieces and nephews, Diane and Eric Schroeder, Lauri Deatherage, Angela and Don Sarabia, James and Hollie Parman, Nicole Ayers, Jennifer and John Hall, Sara Cowan, and Shawn and Amy Deatherage; and the children of all of them. He loved and respected his family and enjoyed his many nieces and nephews. There will be a memorial service at 10:30 a.m., on February 13, 2016, at Primrose Funeral Service, 1109 N. Porter in Norman. Memorial contributions may be made to the Individual Artists of Oklahoma (IAO) or the Norman Arts Council.