OBITUARIES: T.M. Jim Parham, Carter aide, social reformer

BYLINE: By Kelleigh Scott STAFF WRITER

DATE: 12-15-1996

PUBLICATION: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

EDITION:

SECTION: Newspapers_&_Newswires

PAGE: G10

The memorial service for T.M. Jim Parham, a former aide to President Jimmy Carter and three Georgia governors, will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Atlanta.

Mr. Parham died Friday of complications from a stroke at St. Joseph's Hospital. He was 69 and lived in Decatur.

The body was donated to the Emory School of Medicine.

Mr. Parham grew up in an impoverished family in one of Atlanta's company-owned cotton mill neighborhoods, said his wife, Dorothy Spears Butler of Decatur. "He didn't know he was poor until he moved out of the cotton mill village," she said.

Mr. Parham's humble beginnings had a profound effect, Mrs. Parham said. Throughout his life, she said, he served as an advocate for social reform, particularly pertaining to children.

In 1977, Carter selected Mr. Parham to be a White House special assistant for intergovernment relations. He later moved to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare as deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Human Development Services.

"He was a man of enormous passion," said Jack Watson, who served as White House chief of staff during the Carter Administration. "His passion was reflected in his works for underprivileged people of every age and every circumstance.

"He was one of the most practical, compassionate and eloquent men I've ever known," Mr. Watson said.

Gov. Carl Sanders named Mr. Parham to head the state's then-new Division for Children and Youth in 1963. In 1971 he was appointed Director of the Department of Family and Children's Services. And in 1975 he was named commissioner of human resources by Gov. George Busbee.

"There was no such thing as a lost cause or person. Jim never gave up," said Bill Jamison, a close friend and former colleague at the Georgia Department of Human Resources.

Mr. Parham also taught social welfare at the University of Georgia.

After retiring from the university system in 1994, he served as board president of Emmaus House, where he recently had been working on expanding the children's programs.

"Jim was particularly disturbed by the negative impact on children which he saw as a byproduct of recent changes in the welfare system," said Emmaus board member Panke Bradley Miller.

"I asked my husband one time what he'd like to be remembered for, and he said his work for children," Mrs. Parham said.

Surviving in addition to his wife are two daughters, Vicki P. Deyton of Newnan and Nancy P. Buckler of Peachtree Corners; a stepdaughter, Eileen Butler Gady of Marietta; a stepson, Franklin T. Butler of Douglasville; a sister, Barbara P. Turner of Duluth; and seven grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations should be sent to The Emmaus House Foundation, 1017 Capitol Ave. S.W., Atlanta, Ga. 30315.

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Copyright © 2000 The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution

Chronology of Anneewakee events, 1962-89

BYLINE:

DATE: 03-20-1990

PUBLICATION: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

EDITION:

SECTION: Newspapers_&_Newswires

PAGE: A/12

- 1962: Louis J. Poetter founds Anneewakee as an adolescent psychiatric care institution specializing in wilderness therapy.

-1970: Poetter is removed as administrator of the facility following a state Department of Human Resources (DHR) investigation of alleged sexual misconduct with male patients. The investigation is not made public, and Poetter remains executive director.

-July 1, 1986: Poetter resigns as Anneewakee board chairman, remains executive director.

-Mid-August 1986: Douglas County Sheriff's Department and GBI begin examining allegations of patient abuse.

-Oct. 1, 1986: Poetter charged by Douglas Sheriff Earl Lee with three counts of sodomy, one count of cruelty to children and one count of simple battery. At the time, Poetter is believed to be in Mexico City. Carl Maxwell Moore, Poetter's chauffeur, is charged with sodomy.

-Oct. 5, 1986: Poetter surrenders to authorities.

-Oct. 6, 1986: DHR begins its Anneewakee investigation.

-Oct. 9, 1986: Six victims of alleged physical and sexual abuse file suit charging facility officials, including Poetter and Moore, with racketeering to defraud and abuse patients.

-Oct. 14, 1986: Douglas deputies arrest James C. Womack, co-director of therapeutic services, and charge him with "numerous counts of sodomy."

-Oct. 17, 1986: Daniel T. Herrera, an Anneewakee employee, charged with cruelty to children. Second group of alleged victims sues.

-Oct. 30, 1986: Poetter charged with stealing $29,500 in Anneewakee funds to buy land for personal use in Mexico.

-Nov. 3, 1986: Robert Lee Winebarger, former group leader, charged with sodomizing young male patient between January 1978 and January 1980.

-Nov. 7, 1986: Nine young women, ages 19 to 24, sue Anneewakee, charging the hospital with racketeering and conspiracy to abuse them sexually and physically, and defraud them financially. Poetter released after five weeks in the Douglas County Jail when friends and supporters raise his $1 million bond.

-Nov. 21, 1986: Twenty-two former Anneewakee patients sue the hospital, naming Poetter, board chairman Jim Parham and other current and former trustees as defendants. This is the fourth suit against the facility and the first to name Parham as a defendant.

-Jan. 25, 1987: Subsidiary of Hospital Corp. of America - HCA Psychiatric Co. -agrees to take over the day-to-day operations of the three Anneewakee facilities. Arrangement prevents the state Department of Human Resources from revoking the facility's license.

-Feb. 27, 1987: Poetter indicted in Douglas County on 22 more sodomy counts dating from 1971.

-March 6, 1987: Poetter, his wife, Mable, and his son-in-law, James Henry Evans, charged with failure to report child abuse. By now, there are 10 criminal defendants in the case.

-March 8, 1987: HCA Psychiatric Co. signs five-year agreement to manage the camps. That same week, the parents of a former patient sue in federal court in At lanta over dispute in therapy time. Fifth civil action.

-April 8, 1988: Poetter pleads guilty to 19 counts of sodomy with former patients, sentenced to eight years in prison, 12 years probation.

-Oct. 10, 1989: First of six civil trials begins in Fulton County. To date, there are eight lawsuits, 131 plaintiffs and 31 defendants.

-Dec. 19, 1989: After 10-week trial, Fulton Superior Court jury awards $5.2 million to three young women made to work as construction laborers.

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Copyright © 2000 The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution