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

People who are homeless in Salmon Arm provide consultants with key information

Urban Matters consultants gather information from ‘experts’ as they work on housing strategy

Word on the street: What is your strategy for not spending too much on Christmas gifts this year?

The Observer asked: What is your strategy for not spending too much on Christmas gifts this year?

Map points to mysterious ‘Waterdome’ in the middle of Salmon Arm Bay

City would like to have map marker removed, pilot recalls its significance

43-acre property donated in memory of Shuswap man

Land along Eagle River to be named Ken Ritchie Park

Ski with Santa fundraiser and beginner trail opening coming to Larch Hills

Tour of new trail to take place on Dec. 28, followed by annual Lantern Ski

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

Miller nets winner as Canucks edge Sabres 6-5 in OT

Roussel, Leivo tally two apiece for Vancouver

‘Norovirus-like’ outbreak interrupts Bantam hockey showcase in Greater Victoria

Several athletes were sent home, quarantined on the ferry

South Okanagan volunteer dental clinic donates rotten teeth to good cause

H.E.C.K. recently gifted 47 rotten teeth to a search and rescue group in the area

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

Healing with honesty: Justice served 40 years later

Revelstoke senior gets house arrest for sexually assaulting stepdaughter

WorkSafe BC to investigate explosion at Princeton facility

Explosion at Envirogreen waste reclamation plant occurred Nov. 27

Doors open to Vernon’s first refill store

Vernon’s Refill Store may be answer to plastics problem

Most Read