By M.H. Cavanaugh
Christian Action League
March 17, 2016
Earline Parmon, who previously served in both the North Carolina House and Senate, passed away Tuesday from complications related to a brief illness. Parmon, a Democrat, served five terms in the state House from 2002 to 2013, representing the state’s 72nd district. In 2012, she announced she would seek a seat in the state Senate. After winning the seat, she served from 2013 until her resignation in 2015 to work for Twelfth District Congresswoman Alma Adams as outreach director.
Parmon’s election to the state Senate earned her the distinction of being Forsyth County’s first black senator.
Before serving in the North Carolina General Assembly, Parmon served for 12 years on the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners.
Her long career as a public servant was distinguished by a passion for education, jobs, healthcare, and women’s rights.
She is noted for having said, “I want to ensure that North Carolinians have access to basic healthcare as a right. In order to strengthen the middle class and improve our economy – a healthy and educated population is a key ingredient. Reforming our health care system will improve our economy and allow small businesses to grow and create more jobs. I want to ensure that women have equal access to health care, jobs and education opportunities.”
Adams released a statement on the day of Parmon’s passing, a statement that speaks for many:
“Today, one of my closest confidants, colleagues and a true friend, Earline Parmon, departed this life. My heart is broken and I know her passing will be felt in Winston-Salem, Greensboro and throughout the entire state of North Carolina.
“Earline Parmon was the true definition of a public servant. She dedicated her life to fighting for justice and fighting for our communities. From her work on the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners and in the North Carolina General Assembly, to her most recent service on behalf of North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District, Earline Parmon has left an undeniable mark on North Carolinians across the state. She was loving, she was kind, she was respected, she broke barriers and she was inspirational. Earline Parmon was an obedient lover of the Lord and his blessings in her life could be seen through her positive spirit and joyous energy.
“I will never forget Earline Parmon’s warmth and her steadfast advocacy for the voiceless in our communities. My prayers will continue to flow for her children, her grandchildren, and all of her family and friends. I am forever grateful for her presence in my life; the world is a richer place for her having been in it. The legacy she established will continue to live on.”
Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, said he was saddened to hear of Parmon’s passing. “I knew her for 13 years. I visited her office on numerous occasions regarding various pieces of legislation. She always treated me with great respect and practiced an open door to the League, even though we had stark differences regarding public policy,” he said.
“You know, politics is a strange animal,” added Dr. Creech. “Your worst enemy on a legislative matter today can be your best friend on another issue tomorrow. I’ve had that kind of relationship with many lawmakers, and such was my relationship with former Sen. Parmon. I think we wanted much of the same things, but we believed in very different ways about how to get to where we needed to go. I’ll be praying for her family.”
Celebration of Life services for former Sen. Parmon will be held at Emmanuel Baptist Church, 1075 Shalimar Drive, Winston Salem, on Monday March 21st at 12:00 p.m.
Family visitation and viewing is scheduled for Sunday, March 20 from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Emmanuel Baptist.
Parmon was born in Buffalo, New York. She was a graduate of Winston-Salem State University. She was 72.