October 27, 2021
In Loving Memory ~
Mike passed away peacefully on October 27, 2021, at Ridge Meadows Hospital after a life of service to his family and community.
He is lovingly remembered by Norma Gail, his wife of fifty-five years. He is greatly missed by his two children, David and Jo-Anne and his three grandchildren Myriam, Aliyah and Gabriella. Also missed by his son-in- law Joaquin, daughter-in-law Amanda, and sister-in-law Elizabeth. Mike cared deeply for his friends and the lives of others and to them he will be missed and remembered fondly.
He is predeceased by his father Francis Parnell, his mother Mahala and his brother Ronald.
Mike was born in Vancouver, briefly lived in Burnaby, and spent most of his early life on Austin Rd in Coquitlam. He often liked to say that his family were pioneers, as the small home they lived in was made from trees cut from the property.
He was proud to have gone to Como Lake High School and found success in sports and academics. He was notably chosen valedictorian of his graduation class of 1956. He was probably just as proud of being a past president of Boomers Custom Car and Hot Rod Club.
Mike earned his B.Sc. and his B.Ed. degree from UBC, later followed by a M.Ed. Administration degree from Western Washington University. He started his career as a teacher at Princeton Elem/High and in Castlegar and then continued and enjoyed a long and influential career in education.
It included time as a teacher and counsellor at Banting Jr. Sec and Port Moody Sr. Sec, vice president of the Coquitlam Teachers Association and as a vice-principal at Garibaldi and Maple Ridge Secondary Schools.
Mike maintained a deep and thoughtful relationship with God. He spent 20 years as an active member of Maple Ridge Baptist Church, where he was baptized. For the last fourteen years he counted Haney Presbyterian Church as his home. Mike was profoundly committed to caring for those in need of food, and a home, which he did through several organizations, including the King’s Inn and the Salvation Army.
Mike was a devoted husband, father and grandpa. He adored the time he spent with his family, horses, ponies, dogs, and cats on their acreage in Maple Ridge. Before his health declined, he enjoyed golfing with his buddies whenever he could. Some of his happiest times were at Otter Lake trying to catch fish with his grandchildren or relaxing at the lake. We know you are living in joy and peace now. We love you and will greatly miss your kind ways.
The Service will be held at Haney Presbyterian Church on Dec 4, 2021 at 1 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the local food bank or to a scholarship in Mike’s name for the school district 42.
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