Special Collections and University Archives

Irene Parsons of Wilkes County, North Carolina, passed away on March 10, 2011. Irene spent three years with the Women’s Reserve of the Coast Guard (SPARs) from 1943 until 1946. Afterward, she had a long career with the Veteran’s Administration, retiring after almost thirty years of service.

She was a long time supporter of the Women Veterans Historical Project and she shared her oral history interview with us in 2005.

You can read the transcript here:

Irene bequeathed an endowment to the WVHP in her will. Her generosity, as well as that of many other veterans who have donated to the Project, is vital. As curator, I am focusing our resources on our oral history efforts. In the last year, we have added the stories of over 30 more women veterans to the collection. We post the full transcripts on line and researchers worldwide are able to learn from these women’s stories. Each oral history costs about $750 to conduct, transcribe, and edit, and support such as Irene’s makes these oral histories possible.

Linda Burr and Irene Parsons at the Women Veterans Luncheon, November 2009

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