Long-lost dad to finally face the furnace after funeral feud
Retired businessman Kenneth Parr’s remains to be released to estranged family four months after his death
Johannesburg octogenarian Kenneth Parr can finally rest in peace in his homeland of Wales after funeral services company Avbob agreed to release his remains, following a four-month battle over an unpaid bill.
Avbob kept the retired businessman’s body on ice in a mortuary in Milpark while it tried to recover more than R30,000 from the dead man’s friend and business partner, Tanzanian businessman Joseph Kirama.
Parr’s four estranged daughters alleged he ordered a funeral against their wishes and reneged on an agreement to pay for it.
Parr, who died in August, was given a grand sendoff, complete with eulogies, floral tributes and a suitable casket last month.
But Avbob held on to Parr’s remains after the funeral, while it waited for the bill to be settled.
Parr’s daughter, Rennie Whitehouse, a Pretoria-based fascial therapist, refused to be held accountable for the funeral bill because she had only requested a postmortem, cremation and a certificate to allow the family to take Parr’s ashes to the UK, for which she paid more than R14,000.
Parr walked out on his family more than 20 years ago, and it was the last time they had seen or heard from him.
While they had assumed he had died many years before, the family were dealt a huge blow when Kirama contacted them to inform them their father had died recently.
Avbob confirmed to Times Select via e-mail on Friday that the matter had been settled.
“Everything has been resolved with the family.”
Avbob did not go into any detail about who would pay the bill.
Bryony Stephenson, another daughter of Parr, said Avbob had agreed to release his body after they had exerted pressure.
She said the family was emotional but relieved that the saga was over.
“There have been lots of tears. We are not sure yet when will take him back to Wales,” she said.
His cremation date will be finalised soon.