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Crash victim remembered as 'good friend'

Jennifer Parsons' fellow workers describe her as dependable and a "loving and funny lady"

By Gregg K. Kakesako


The 42-year-old Waianae woman killed in a five-vehicle crash on Kunia Road was remembered yesterday as a "dependable worker" and a "friend, mother and sister" by fellow employees at Foodland Super Market in Ewa Beach where she worked for nearly two decades.

Jennifer Parsons, 42, was driving a 1992 Mercury sedan that was struck by a speeding 2007 Mitsubishi sedan, setting off a series of crashes Saturday night. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Parsons had just been promoted in February to head the eight-member staff of the store's bakery, the division in which she had worked since 1999.

"She was a comfort to everybody," said Marsha Nunes, who preceded Parsons as bakery manager. "She was a really good friend, a sister, a mom — a person who everyone could depend on.

"She was my backbone when I was her manager."

Parsons leaves three children, including a daughter, Jeanette, who had joined the Foodland Ewa Town Center ohana several months ago in the market's customer service department, said Ronnette Lankford, a bakery clerk.

Lankford and Parsons graduated from Campbell High School in 1986 and had been friends since graduation.

She described the Ewa Beach store, which employs 120 people, as a "close-knit family" with Parsons "a mom to many of the teenagers working there."

Lankford said customers were streaming into the market yesterday with donations and tributes to the mother of three.

"They tell us how much they are going to miss her and how she was always taking care of her customers."

Kyle Duncan, 18, said Parsons was "like another mother to me."

He said when he started at Foodland three months ago, his shift began at 3 a.m. "And I didn't have a ride to work," he said, "so she volunteered to pick me up every day."

Many of her co-workers last saw Parsons on Friday when she bought her department Chinese food for lunch to celebrate the new year.

Tiana Memeses, who worked with Parsons for six years, said "she had a way of making everyone happy. When you were down, she would try to make sure that she did something to pick you up."

"She was a loving and funny lady with a good heart."

An 11-year-old boy who was ejected from the Mitsubishi and died in the crash has not been identified.

The accident happened at 6:55 p.m. Saturday, just south of Kunia Drive. Police said the Mitsubishi and a Lexus sedan were "driving erratically and at a high rate of speed" toward Wahiawa when the Mitsubishi crossed into the opposite lane and struck Parsons' Mercury at an angle.

Six other people were injured.

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