Shon Parsons, a special honoree, would have been 38 this weekend, but he died July 5 from myelodysplastic syndrome, cutting short a life that already was long on service and volunteerism, some of the attributes that the nonprofit BASIC group strives to promote.
Parsons was the husband of the Rev. Michelle Parsons, pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church on 17th Street in Belleville.
Shon Parsons stopped by the blood and bone marrow drive held in his honor May 10. He died July 5 from myelodysplastic syndrome. He would have been 38 years old this weekend. - BND file photo
Besides being a father to two daughters, Nellie and Audrey, he was a father figure to a lot of teenagers, she said.
"He started when we first got here in 2002 and built the youth group from nothing," Michelle Parsons said. "He helped get the summer camp going and started the teen project, The League of Extraordinary Teenagers.
"That will be one of Shon's biggest legacies."
She said helping kids was really where Shon Parsons' heart was.
"Either formal or informal, he did a lot of mentoring of teenagers, even post-high schoolers," she said. "He was honest and genuine with them, and the kids really responded."
Shon Parsons was an elder in the church, taught classes, helped with an archery program on Sunday afternoons and tutored at Union School among many other volunteer activities
"His loss left a big hole," Michelle Parsons said.