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Connellsville woman's home displays 1,243 angels

| Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, 9:11 p.m.
For The Independent-Observer
Annetta and Ron Parfitt stand in the “Angel Room” of their Connellsville home, where son Randy’s photograph is in the center of more than 1,000 angels on display. Nancy Henry | For The Independent-Observer
For The Independent-Observer
In the Parfitts “Angel Room” in their Connellsville home, there are more than 1,000 angels of all kinds displayed. Nancy Henry | For The Independent-Observer

Annetta Parfitt of Connellsville has an angel room in her home.

There are 1,243 angels of all kinds displayed there.

The angel room is in memory of her son Randy, who died in December 1993. The room brings comfort to a mother whose loss of a son has been a sadness hard to bear.

Parfitt wrote a book of poetry, “Silent Decembers,” about her son and the feelings she has experienced over the past 19 years. The angel room is a way for her to find comfort.

There are angels of every kind. A center table has a picture of Randy. His mother changes the surrounding display often to reflect what is going on in the family. Now it has a photo of Randy's first grandchild.

Annetta Parfitt's sister Beverly Isola has made many ceramic angels for her. Some adorn the Christmas tree in the angel room. The large tree in the living room also is decorated with angels.

Annetta Parfitt has two other sisters, Joan Miller and Shirley Keyes, who have also given her gifts of angels, thermometers, cookie jars, pins, ornaments. There's a lighted tapestry from a good friend. There is even an angel that Randy made as a child that has a special place of prominence in the room.

There are table runners, a fleece throw, candlesticks, an angel rocking a cradle as a lullaby plays, crocheted angels, plates, a tea set with angel wings, an angel string of lights, floor to ceiling angels. There is a photo taken in 1961 of the Parfitts' four young sons amid the many angels.

Parfitt knows by heart where each angel came from. She points out one that was given to her by Jean Wrote, another by Sister Mary Agnes Kirsch. She said so many have been given to her by kind and caring friends. She treasures each of her angels as inspirational.

Her husband, Ron, made an outdoor garden space where angels are displayed in good weather.

Willow tree angels are grouped together on a mirror. A wreath hanger has angels. The curtains in the room have angels. There are wall hangings, plaques, and many clocks.

A glittering blond angel on a unicorn was a gift from Ron. A small bell with Randy's name may be the tiniest angel in the room. There are Wendell August, Precious Moments and Seraphim angels.

Randy was a police officer in Scottdale, so there are several angel pieces that show a policeman offering assistance. There is a fan and a scarf brought back from Italy for Annetta Parfitt by a Montessori sister.

The angels are all sizes and many creeds and colors.

Music boxes and lighted music boxes are prized by Parfitt. One plays the hymn “How Great Thou Art,” reflecting her deep faith.

“I come in here if I'm feeling down or want to pray. There are large angel pillows to sit on and meditate. When I want to feel peace, I sit quietly in the angel room. It is consoling to me to sit in there. It is my special room. Every morning when I get up, I come out, look in the angel room and say hello to Randy,” said Parfitt.

She has given angels to those who have suffered a loss. She sends angel Christmas cards each year, too.

She has books in which she lists all of her angels by number with the names of who gave them to her.

Some of the places from which the angels have come include Bermuda, Germany, Italy, Canada, Mexico, Nevada, Illinois, Michigan, Florida, Tennessee, Virginia, New Mexico, Kentucky, Hawaii, Arizona and Washington, D.C.

“I have another mirror with an angel on it that was given to me by two of my grandchildren, and it was made by a blind man. Every angel is very special to me,” Parfitt said.

“Many of the angels that were given to me are from people who are now deceased. These people will always be in my memory,” she added. “I also have a special angel that was given to me by a mother that lost her son. I always think of both the mother and her son when I look at that angel. As I clean each angel, a special memory or thought comes to my mind and many times a little prayer. I thank my dear heavenly father every day for the time we were fortunate enough to have had Randy. He was a wonderful son, dad and brother.”

Nancy Henry is a freelance writer.

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