Hemel Hempstead Friends are sad to announce the death of Dr Bob Parsons who died on 29th March at the age of 88 following an 18 month decline in health.
Bob was a well-loved Friend and had been a member of our meeting for many years. His strong Quaker faith inspired him to work in social justice, and he founded the Hope for Children charity in Hemel Hempstead following his retirement in 1994, with the mission to create opportunities for children living in extreme poverty.
At a meeting for worship shortly after his death was announced, numerous Friends gave ministry, recalling the man who had not only inspired them with his faith, but entertained them with excellent humour, and cared with enormous empathy.
Our memories of Bob
The Quaker advice of George Fox in 1656, was shared at the meeting:
“Be patterns, be examples, in all countries, places, islands, nations, wherever you come; that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people and to them; then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone” Quaker Faith and Practice 19.32
Bob Parsons certainly lived up to this advice and he will be very much missed.
In a statement released by the charity, Hope for Children, Bob was described:
“This man was an amazing person; an energetic Christian socialist and philanthropist with a strong Quaker faith.
“Peace and social justice were at the centre of his life and work. The charity he founded, Hope for Children, is determined to carry forward that work. The charity continues to strive to deliver Bob’s mission, to create opportunities for overlooked, vulnerable and exploited children living in extreme poverty.”
Bob’s funeral took place on Friday 8 April at Garston Crematorium. It was attended by Friends, colleagues and Bob’s family including children and grandchildren who had travelled from far and wide.
According to Bob’s wishes, his ashes will be buried in the Meeting House Burial ground gardens. A meeting for worship will be held in memoriam at which we hope to welcome Friends from near and far. The date Sunday 24 July. Bob’s beloved wife Anne who died several years ago will also be remembered.
A full obituary to Dr Bob Parsons, OBE, was published in the Hemel Hempstead Gazette