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

CSRD Board backs more consultation on plans to help caribou

It is feared that the caribou recovery plans could result in closure of backcountry areas

Update: RCMP confirm body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: A sunny Easter Sunday

Temperatures will peak at approximately 20C region-wide

Gathering in Salmon Arm to offer support, resources after shooting

Agencies join to provide practical assistance from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23 at rec centre

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Clear skies and pushing 20 C

Environement Canada forcasts a sunny and warm Easter weekend

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

Pets still missing after Peachland home fire

Two Pomeranians and two cats are missing after fire

Okanagan student shows skill at provincial finals

Aidan Eglin of Armstrong won website development event at Skills Canada’s B.C. finals in Abbotsford

Kootnekoff: Easter Bunny legal woes

Several years ago, our young daughter needed to know: “Is Santa Claus… Continue reading

Okanagan fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware cats were in wood pile in yard near garbage pile fire that got away

Okanagan township’s open burning winds down

Spallumcheen reminds residents of regulation changes as open burning concludes April 30

Children gather for Easter festival in Summerland

Fourth annual Easter Egg-stravaganza included activities and egg hunt

Most Read