UPDATED Former state Sen. Earline Parmon, a Democrat from Winston-Salem who was committed to working for the needy and neglected, died Tuesday after a short illness.
Parmon, 72, died surrounded by family at Forsyth Medical Center.
She served in the House and Senate in North Carolina from 2003 to 2015, when she resigned to work for U.S. Rep. Alma Adams’ campaign. Her husband, Albert, died in 2014.
The couple had been married for 47 1/2 years, and had four children and five grandchildren.
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Sen. Paul Lowe, who replaced her in the state Senate, confirmed her death.
“She was a great warrior on behalf of people who were downtrodden,” Lowe said. “She believed that was her work, and the bills she sponsored were reflective of how concerned she was for them.”
Lowe said she was diagnosed with an illness just two days ago.
“The unique thing about her is she lived to work the elections and promote voting — and she passes on Election Day.”
Adams released a statement that read in part:
“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.”
Senate Leader Phil Berger issued this tribute on Twitter:
“Sen. Earline Parmon was gracious, kind, and deeply committed to helping others. Our prayers are with her loved ones.”
Patsy Keever, chairwoman of the N.C. Democratic Party, issued this statement:
“The North Carolina Democratic Party is sad to learn of the passing of former Senator Earline Parmon. Senator Parmon was a wonderful representative and always a fierce advocate for the community she was honored to represent in the NC House, NC Senate, and most recently as a member of Congresswoman Alma Adam’s district staff. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and her community.”
Gov. Pat McCrory also issued a statement praising her commitment to the disadvantaged and saying “her passing is a loss for every citizen of this state,”
Funeral arrangements have not been made yet, according to a representative in Adams’ office in Washington, D.C.