WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- A pioneer for blacks and females in Forsyth County is being remembered as a heroine who always put service to her community first.
Earline Parmon died Tuesday from cancer at the age of 72.
Parmon was the first black female elected to the state senate from Forsyth County.
Dr. John Mendez, a friend and pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church, said he saw Parmon earlier this year at an event. He called her death a shock.
“I didn't know she was sick,” said Mendez. “She had been in here at the church a few weeks ago with Alma Adams.”
Mendez compared Parmon to Harriet Tubman and Ida B. Wells for her undying passion for service.
“They are so overwhelmed by the passion for justice, passion for peace and passion for caring for others,” said Mendez.
Parmon most recently worked as the outreach director for Adams, a Democrat representing North Carolina’s 12th district in Washington.
Parmon served for 12 years on the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners. She was elected to the North Carolina Senate in 2012 after serving as an N.C. House representative for 10 years.
Mendez said there was never an event too small for Parmon to support. He said he'll always admire her for her mix of tenacity and the ability to work with others to find common ground.
“We can't even begin to talk about what Earlene meant to this state not just Winston-Salem but the state of N.C.,” said Mendez.