Kevin Richard Parsons, a former MHA and PC cabinet minister in the Brian Peckford administration, died Sunday at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John's at the age of 82.
Parsons' son Kevin Jr. is currently the PC MHA for the district of Cape St. Francis.
His father was Flatrock's first mayor. He was also a member of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary in the 1950s and served as a federal firefighter in Pleasantville and on the St. John's harbour fire tug.
Parsons was also a local entrepreneur, having formed Flatrock Trucking in the 1970s.
He served as a member of the St John’s Roman Catholic School Board for 20 years and was involved in numerous other community initiatives.
His wife Mabel, a former community health nurse, predeceased him in 2012. He is also predeceased by his parents James and Agnes, sister Kathleen Barnes, and his brother Ron (Kay Whitty).
Parsons leaves to mourn children, Kathleen, Kevin Jr. (Veronica), Chris (Kathleen), Carl (Donnie) and Robert (Catherine); grandchildren, Joanne, Jennifer, Jimmy, Dale, Leon, Justin, Michael, Nicole, David, Maggie and Kealan; great-grandchildren, Hanna, Jaxson, Kiana and Rylan. Also his nephews Joe Barnes Ron Parsons, John Parsons and nieces Mary Weisman and Rosemary Gosse and sisters-in-law Catherine Penton, Josephine and her husband Charlie. His obituary also includes a special mention to Patsy Parsons and Jimmy Everson, two very special people in his life, whom he considered a part of his family.
Parsons is resting at Caul’s Funeral Home, Torbay. Visitation on Monday from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. and on Tuesday from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Funeral Mass will take place on Wednesday at 10 a.m. from St. Michael’s Church, Flatrock, with cremation to follow.
Flowers are gratefully accepted or donations may be made to Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, Flatrock.
Premier Kathy Dunderdale paid tribute to Parsons in the House of Assembly this afternoon.
She said he had a lifetime of exemplary public service.
Dunderdale said, "A proud son of Flatrock, Kevin Parsons made the town his lifelong home and dedicated himself to serving the people of the municipality, the region, and, eventually, the entire province in a variety of roles and professions: as a fisherman and seal hunter beginning when he was a teen; as a police officer with what was then known as the Newfoundland Constabulary; as a federal firefighter based at Pleasantville and on the St. John’s harbour fire tug; as an entrepreneur who established Flatrock Trucking, which enabled local fishermen to get their product to market; as a school board member for two decades; as the town’s very first mayor; as the member of the House of Assembly for the former District of St. John’s East Extern; and as a member of the provincial Cabinet."
The premier said, one of Parsons' proudest moments as mayor was to host the blessing of the fleet by Pope John Paul II during his visit to Newfoundland and Labrador.
Once as a young man, she said, Parsons and his fellow fishermen saved the life of a downed American airman who crashed off Flatrock while returning to his aircraft carrier.
"It was a moment of selflessness and heroism that defined his life. He was an example to all of us, and he will be greatly missed," Dunderdale said.
Parsons full obituary can be found on Caul's website www.cauls.ca.