Gord and Peggy Parmenter hold a family tree diagram which their son David said is now missing an important root after Gord was killed in a shooting at the Salmon Arm Church of Christ on Sunday, April 14. (Photo Contributed)

Man killed in Salmon Arm church shooting remembered as father figure to many

Gordon Parmenter was a church elder known for his skill connecting with people

Gordon Parmenter is remembered as a father figure to many who had a way of connecting with people.

Parmenter, 78, was killed Sunday, April 14, during a shooting at the Salmon Arm Church of Christ that left another man injured.

“There’s a lot of people he informally parented through the years, just being there for people who are struggling,” said Gordon’s son David, deeply shaken by the loss.

David said his father lived his faith and took his role as church elder seriously.

“For him it wasn’t just work, he was actually there for people,” David said. “He just 100 per cent gave of his time and his energies to serving others.”

Every Sunday afternoon, after church, Gordon would meet with elderly members of the congregation who have difficulty leaving their homes.

Read More: BREAKING: Man charged in fatal Salmon Arm church shooting

Read More: City hall flags fly at half mast as city mourns church shooting victim

David said his father was an expert at connecting with people.

“If it was little kids, he would get right down on their level and talk to them so they felt respected and understood.”

David described Gordon as the patriarch of a large family with children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren both nearby and in the U.S.

“I know that all of my mother’s family looked at him as a brother and, in some cases, maybe even as a father figure.”

Gordon was born in the U.S. and served in the U.S. Navy. He worked as a manager for Coca Cola, a job which brought him to the Vernon area in the 1980s. The Parmenter family came to the Shuswap when Gordon bought a stake in a pig farm in Tappen in the late ‘80s.

“He loved this area, he loved the people here,” David said.

In his spare time, Gordon tried his hand as a pilot, scuba diver, rock hound and cabinet maker. David said his father accomplished a lot in his life and was always learning and trying new things.

A fire, which the police called suspicious at the time, tore through the trailer Gordon lived in on March 14. The family escaped the fire unharmed.

Read More: Former foster child lovingly remembers Salmon Arm shooting victim

Read More: UPDATE: Man shot dead in Penticton, residents warned to stay indoors

“Our family is really thankful for the last month. After they had that near-death experience we spent lots of quality time with them,” David said.

“We didn’t know we had so little time.”

In light of the tragedy on April 14, David said he is especially thankful they were able to salvage a few boxes of photographs from the fire at the trailer because it reminds them of what has been lost.

David said the family is feeling as though they are missing their nucleus, a man whose face constantly wore a smile and who always had an encouraging word to share.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Island author talks about his book ‘The Blue Haired Girl’

Adam Hayes sat down with North Island Gazette Editor Tyson Whitney for an interview about the book.

Kwigwatsi Studio a labour of love for Comox Valley couple

The studio is at 3250 Comox Road and overlooks the Bighouse and K’omoks First Nation Band Office.

Island filmmaker receives funds to produce web series pilot

Chukwumuobi Obasi was awarded the funds through Telus Storyhive’s Web Series Edition

Vancouver Island businessman opens up about his journey with prostate cancer

Port Alberni’s Kevin Wright shares online journal entries to help others understand

Column: Samaritans show up on dark, stormy night

Susan blessed with a classic car and classy neighbours

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Palestinians in Bethlehem look beyond religious tourism

BETHLEHEM, Palestinian Territory — For decades, the people of Bethlehem have watched… Continue reading

Students coming up with signature VIU chocolate

Blind taste testing this week part of chocolate recipe competition

UPDATED: Transportation Safety Board finishes work at plane crash site, investigation continues

Transport Canada provides information bulletin, family of victim releases statement

Nanaimo mechanical engineer writes thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

B.C. VIEWS: Hunger does not end with the season

Despite innovations in food distribution, the need is still there in B.C. communities

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Most Read