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

Redesign Rupert holds four-day workshop to reimagine the city

A condensed downtown core and waterfront access among the topics discussed

A new vessel from the Gitga’at First Nation will be sailing into Prince Rupert’s harbour

The transporter vessel will bring back materials, food and medicine for the Hartley Bay community

Prince Rupert Library recognizes National Indigenous History Month

Friends of the Library Book Club puts the focus on Indigenous authors and reconciliation

Smooth sailing expected on 14 major roads in Prince Rupert by end of summer

Construction underway with city’s $2.4 million paving budget

City of Prince Rupert seeking public input on Community Enhancement Grants

Survey now available to the public focusing on project priorities

Global Sports Bra Squad Day in Rupert

The event encourages athletes to run in whatever makes them comfortable regardless of shape or size

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Two toddler siblings found drowned on First Nation in Alberta

The siblings were found drowned on their family’s property, according to RCMP

Chiefs honour Indigenous leader wrongfully hanged in B.C. 154 years ago today

Chief Joe Alphonse says they want his remains returned to his homeland in B.C.’s Cariboo region

Rare white ravens spotted again on Vancouver Island

Nature photographer Mike Yip said mysterious birds back in Coombs area

B.C. government seeks advice on reviving Interior forest industry

Public website opens as meetings start with community leaders

Psychics, drones being used to search for missing Chilliwack woman with dementia

Drones, psychics, dogs and more have been employed to help find Grace Baranyk, 86

B.C. mom to go to Europe court in hopes of getting alleged abducted daughter back

Tasha Brown alleges her estranged wife abducted their daughter Kaydance Etchells in 2016

Most Read