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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

New traffic lanes for Six Mile west of Burns Lake coming soon

Construction to begin on lane extension and traffic improvement

Chamber names new board for 2020

And emphasizes that Houston is open for business

Houston to host high speed electric vehicle charging station

It will be installed and paid for by BC Hydro

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

COVID-19: B.C. too dependent on foreign food production workers

New B.C. job site links unemployed with farm, seafood work

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

Another Asian giant ‘murder hornet’ found in Lower Mainland

This is the farthest east the invasive species has been found so far

B.C. girl left temporarily paralyzed by tick bite sparks warning from family

Mom says parents need to check their kids when they go camping

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

PHOTOS: Loved ones reunite at an oasis on closed U.S.-Canada border in Surrey

Officials closed the park in mid-March over coronavirus concerns

Feds delay national action plan for missing and murdered Indigenous women

Meanwhile, the pandemic has exacerbated the violence facing many Indigenous women and girls

DFO allowing at-sea observers again if safe work procedures in place

May 15 fishery notice lays out conditions for allowing at-sea observers onboard amid COVID-19

Most Read