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Alves Parton had a knack for getting headstrong teens to do what he wanted — by reasoning with them.

“He had a very down-to-earth philosophy in dealing with children,” his sister-in-law, Carolyn Parton, said of the long-time DODDS teacher.

“One of the boys he [taught] didn’t want to get a haircut,” she recalled. “He just said ‘OK. You don’t have to get a haircut. But you want to go to Yale? I hold the keys to signing the papers for you to go to Yale.’

“The student understood. The next morning, the boy had a haircut,” she said, laughing at the memory.

Alves Parton, 77, died this month after a two-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. He’d taught in the Department of Defense Dependents Schools for about 50 years, educating students in Izmir, Turkey; Wiesbaden, Germany; and Brussels, Belgium, according to a DODDS-Europe press release. He also taught in the Philippines and Newfoundland, Canada, Carolyn Parton said. He retired in 2002.

He was buried Sunday at the Oak Bowery family site in Ohatchee, Ala., his boyhood home. The family requests memorial donations be made in his name to the Parkinson’s Foundation, or a charity of their choice.

Parton was a biology teacher at Brussels American School for several decades, and was well known and highly respected as a pioneering coach and athletic director, according to the release. His high standards and gentlemanly manners set a standard that still is reflected in DODDS-Europe athletic programs, the release says.

He served in the Air Force for four years as an X-ray technician, and the family thought he’d have a career in the medical field, his sister, Eva Lee Smith, said. But one semester of teaching at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Ala., prompted him to start a career he’d have — and love — for five decades, she said.


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