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Lorene “Lori” Parshall

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Lorene “Lori” Parshall, loving mother of four and grandmother of eight, peacefully passed away on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, surrounded by her loved ones.

Lorene was born on April 16, 1942, in Washington, PA, to Donald and Mary (Herron) Parshall. She graduated high school from Cass Tech in Detroit, Michigan, studied at the College for Creative Studies (CCS), a renowned art education institution located in Detroit’s Cultural Center Historic District, and later attended the University of Michigan. With her talent and training in art, Lorene initially began her working career in fashion illustration and her artwork appeared in numerous newspaper ads and magazines in the Detroit metropolitan area. However, Lorene’s passion for social justice would lead her to a new career in the field of social services. She became an advocate for youth and families in the many human service positions that she held early on in her second career, including NEMCSA, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the local court systems. She also shared her love of art and beautiful artistic gifts as the Director of the Gaylord Area Council for the Arts. Always ready to take on new challenges, and with her quest for social justice, she was finally led to the field of journalism. Lorene started a new career as a reporter at the South Bend Tribune and later at the Gaylord Herald Times, where she ultimately received national recognition and awards for her reporting and commentary. Her genuine compassion and advocacy for others shined through in all of her work. Her empathetic and engaging spirit, as well as a humble sense of humor, had an amazing ability to touch many hearts and change many lives.

Lorene was preceded in death by her parents, Donald and Mary Parshall; and her beloved nephew, Ryan Parshall.

She is survived by her four children, George (Alicia) Porzondek, Craig (Lisa) Porzondek, Lisa Porzondek, and Jeff (Jennifer) Porzondek; her brother, Don (Mindy) Parshall; nephew, Brent (Maryam) Parshall; grandchildren, Christie (Brian) Pudvan, Claryce (Logan) Prasser, Nadine Porzondek, Nicholas Porzondek, and Cooper Porzondek; great-grandchildren, Alex Pudvan, Brayden Pudvan, and Harper Pudvan; and other cherished relatives and friends. She also had a special place in her heart for her cat, Kenya.

Lorene was a member of the Gaylord First Congregational United Church of Christ. A celebration of Lorene’s life will be held later this year.

Donations may be made in her honor to the Gaylord Area Community Meal, 218 W. Second Street, Gaylord, MI, 49735.

14 comments on “Lorene “Lori” Parshall”

  1. Karen & Ken Kleinrichert

    Love and prayers to all of Lori’s family…we will miss her, she always made us laugh! God bless you all.

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  2. My parents, my sister Lorene and I moved from Pennsylvania to Detroit in the late 1950’s, several states removed from any of our other relatives, which meant we initially spent a great deal of time and all of our holidays together. She was four years older and already a teenager when we made that move, and for unknown reasons had little use for her younger brother then. It certainly couldn’t be for doing innocent things like finding and reading excerpts from her personal diary aloud to boys from her school who had come to the house to see her.

    However, by the time I entered into the teen years myself Lorene had finally matured enough for us to form a bond as strong as a brother and sister could hope for. I also matured to the point that I no longer resented the fact that despite sharing the same parents she somehow received the lion’s share of looks, smarts and talent that were allotted to us. While our opinions and politics were not always in perfect sync there is nobody that I respected and admired more. She was always there to support me and had a knack of saying the right thing to make me feel better, even at my lowest.

    The least materialistic person I know, she was a devoted mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, and would always put her family’s needs before her own. There is not enough space here to write all wonderful things she did, and all the people she helped. The world is a little darker place with out her. I love you Sis and thanks for being a part of my life.

    • Gayle (Latuszek) Neu

      I’ve known Lori since I was 14. What an amazing person on so many levels – mother, grandmother, advocate, artist, writer. As a fellow journalist, I was in awe of her writing ability, dedication, opinions on current events and her deep connection to people. She will be so very missed!! Our hearts go out to her family at this very difficult time.

      • Gayle (Latuszek) Neu

        I’ve known Lori since I was 14. What an AMAZING person on so many levels – mother, grandmother, advocate, writer, artist. As a fellow journalist, I was in awe of her writing ability, dedication, opinions on current events, and her deep connection to people. We will miss her dearly. Our hearts go out to her family at this difficult time.

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      • Ruthann Galbraith

        A very sad day to hear Lorene had passed away. It reminded me of a late afternoon I called to talk with her. She didn’t sound all that well and I mentioned it to her. She said she had been having some problems with her voice. I told her I would be glad to take her to the ER at the Hospital in Grayling. We could visit and find out what the problem was. Seemed very simple and thinking all she needed was some medication. That night she was told a tumor in her lung had been found.

        I believe that was in the Fall of 2017. The cancer diagnosis was serious with a grim prognosis. Lorene told me she had gone through difficult times before. I could see her intellectual mind and fierce determination once again was going to take on the challenge to survive. Just as throughout her life, she fought and continued to live for what was most important.

        She beat the statistics and then some!!

        I very much appreciate her thoughtful and caring friendship. As she so deserves…may she rest in peace. My heartfelt condolences to her family and her special kitty, Kenya.

        • There will always be a hole in my heart with the passing of Lorene! Friend, sister by a different mother, and a fierce warrior to champion the saving of the Waters Post office. God Bless you.

          • I’ve known Lorene for some years after she asked me to consent to an interview for the Gaylord Herald Times newspaper, and ever since then I visited with her quite frequently, especially after she became quite ill with lung cancer. I was amazed by all the various interests she had and very much appreciated her questions and comments about my own writing. Unfortunately, since the on-set of the Covid pandemic, these visits had to be conducted more over the phone and internet, but I shall not forget them. My sympathies and condolences to her siblings, her children and grandchildren, as well as to all her friends and admirers. We all have lost a great friend and exemplar, and I pray that God will greatly reward her.

            • Tammy Bowles Seidell

              Jeff, I am so sorry for the loss of your mother! What a remarkable lady she was and you must be so proud of her artistic, loving and passionate heart!

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            • Our group, the Patriotic Quilters of Gaylord, is deeply saddened by Lorene’s passing. She was such a big help in promoting our mission of presenting quilts to veterans. She was a such a lovely woman. Rest in peace Lorene.

              • I truly enjoyed working with Lorene at the Arts Council in Gaylord during our time together there. Her commitment to the community through the Arts was evident and most valuable. While we didn’t have a lot of funding, Lorene never let that get in the way of great ideas and planning. A truly great woman indeed. Gaylord has lost a special person.

                • Lorene was always so very kind and supportive. I knew her as a reporter with the Gaylord Herald Times. She was passionate about women’s issues. Through her work, Lorene helped to further both Zonta and AAUW’s mission of empowering and educating. I’m certain that many local non-profits found not only an ally in Lorene, but also a friend. She will be greatly missed. My deepest sympathies to your family.

                  • I read with such sadness about Lorene’s death…and yet also with great admiration for her life as I read about her many involvements, leadership and commitments to help others. I knew her only as a reporter who captured positive essence and accuracy with her interviews. Yet she possessed so much more creativity and talent beyond her journalistic skills. She will always be remembered. I wish Peace to all her family members through such loss.
                    With much care,
                    Sheila

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                  • Sheila E. Molenkamp

                    I am so saddened to here of Lorenes passing. I was friends with Lorene in the 80s. We worked together volunteering at the Woman’s Resource Center. Along with other like minded women we helped to start a Woman’s Recource Center in Gaylord. She was a lot of fun and a caring individual. Her children were very important to her. My thoughts and prayers to her family.

                    Sheila

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