Don Parmenter

February 4, 2019

Don Parmenter died peacefully on Monday, February 4th due to liver failure complications from an aggressive form of lung cancer diagnosed just three days before.  He was 77 years old.

Born August 28, 1941 in Helena, Montana, Don was the son of Robert Evans and Virginia Graybeal Parmenter.  He was the youngest of three children and was preceded in death by his sister Roberta Parmenter and his brother John Richard Parmenter.  As an Army “brat” he grew up in a multitude of cities including Charleston, SC; Santa Barbara, CA and Okinawa, Japan. 

Don was awarded a 4 year Naval Scholarship to Yale University where he entered as an engineering major.  However, during his first year he fell in love with history and changed majors and all his life was interested in history topics.  

After graduating Yale in 1963, he served 4 years in the United States Navy as a lieutenant officer on the USS Adroit Mine Sweeper.  During his time in the Navy he met and married the love of his life, Sharon Odom, in Charleston, SC on January 30, 1965.  In October 1966 the couple gave birth to their only child, their daughter, Heather.  Don and Sharon were together for 54 years at his passing.  

Don had a long career in telecommunications. Over his 33 year career, the company changed names from Western Electric to AT&T and finally Lucent Technologies.  His career started in Guilford Connecticut where they enjoyed a rental home on Sachem’s Head by the ocean.  A few years later they moved to Columbus, Ohio where they made great friends and fell in love with tennis.  Another move took them to the Northwest suburbs of Chicago - Hoffman Estates, Illinois.  There they were initiated into midwest winters when they experienced 2 of the top 4 worst winters ever in the area.  In the summers, Don tapped into his Naval background when he purchased a small sailboat and weekends were spent enjoying sailing at local lakes.

After Heather graduated high school in Hoffman Estates and headed off to Clemson University, Don and Sharon headed back to Connecticut for his final career location.  This time Don and Sharon settled in Madison, CT where they made lifelong friends and learned to golf.  He retired from Lucent Technologies and relocated to Wilmington, NC in 2002 playing golf and making great friends.

Passing on his love for reading to his daughter, Don especially loved stories of military intrigue, but also enjoyed well written stories such has Harry Potter.  He loved to work out the daily crossword puzzles and was a fan of going to the movies.  Don was very proud of his grandson Eric getting into the honors program at NC State and performing very well his first year as a Physics major.  

Don Parmenter was loved by all and was considered a Prince of a man.

Don is survived by his wife, Sharon Odom Parmenter; daughter, Heather Parmenter-Watkins (Tony); grandson, Eric Daniel Watkins; nieces, Terri Parmenter Bivens, Jan Odom Hoffman, Jennifer Odom Oliva and nephews, Erin Parmenter, Casey Parmenter, Richard Odom and Hank Odom.

A memorial service for Don will be held at 12:00 PM on Friday, February 15th, 2019 at St. Therese Catholic Church, 209 Lumina Avenue S., Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480 followed immediately by a reception in the church fellowship hall.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Don’s name may be made to the American Cancer Society.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at





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  • Glyn Nunnally

    I don’t know if anyone will ever get a chance to read this but here goes...Like Don, I was a 3rd level manager at the Columbus Works. I remember Don as a very intelligent and assertive manager who had the best interest of the company as his motivating force. I always had deep respect for his forward looking views and actions to make us better. God bless.

  • Shelley.....

    Heather, I am saddened by your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time and pray that fond memories help to bring you peace knowing that the love you shared will forever be in your heart. I'm sure you and your mother are still in disbelief and trying to figure out how to put one foot in front of the other, but know that your friends from WF care and are here to support you if you need a shoulder or an ear. Extending my very deepest sympathy to you both.... Shelley

  • Linda & Bryan Padezanin


    Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. We enjoyed knowing Don and will miss him.

  • Ann Conetta Miller

    I'm still in shock that dear Don could be gone. I know I'm not alone. I feel so sad for Sharon and Heather and for all who loved him.
    I've known them since they were transferred to Columbus, OH. My family also had just been transferred to Columbus and we all moved to the same apartment complex.
    We became close friends and are to this day. It's hard to express my sadness. I'm sending prayers and comforting hugs to Sharon and Heather and to all who loved him. Next to my dear father, Don was the finest man I ever met.

  • MaryAnn Ryder

    I came to know Don ten years ago when I moved to Wimington. I met Sharon first and through her Don. I immediately said he reminded me of Clark Gable, so handsome. Don was a quiet man but always very caring. I know how much he loved Sharon by the way he was so attentive to her. He spoke proudly of his daughter and grandson. He will be missed.

  • Theressa Watkins

    Deepest Sympathy to the family. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Theressa Watkins

    So sorry for your lost. We will miss Don, but I'm so thankful to God for giving me the opportunity to laugh and enjoy his company. Rest in peace ?. Sharon and Heather, continue to trust in God and He will direct your path. Love you