Former Speaker Don Parkinson dies

Senator Don Parkinson (Photo courtesy of Guam Legislature)

Former Speaker of the Guam Legislature Don Parkinson has died, Speaker Tina Muna Barnes said.

In honor of Speaker Parkinson, flags at the Guam Congress Building will be flown at half-staff for the remainder of the week.

Speaker Parkinson lived a life that was committed to public service. He served in the 17th – 23rd Guam Legislature.

“During his terms in the Legislature, Speaker Parkinson advocated for every day, hardworking Guamanians, fighting for unemployment insurance, and lowering of utility rates. He was a visionary, one who advocated for Guam’s economic stability, and a 10-year sustainable energy plan,” Barnes said in a statement.

She added: “To his wife Marina and his children, I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to you – Speaker Parkinson’s legacy will always live on throughout Guam’s history. The People of Guam today lost a staunch advocate of Democratic ideals. Speaker Parkinson, thank you for all you’ve done for our island.”

Reacting to the news, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero issued the following statement:

“Today, Guam lost a tireless advocate for working families. I worked with former Speaker Don Parkinson personally and witnessed firsthand his passion for our people. He fought to keep utility costs affordable and our social safety net in place. He repeatedly sought the establishment of an unemployment insurance program for Guam, and he was one of the earliest statutory proponents of alternative energy solutions for Guam.

“As a senator, lawyer, veteran, and father, his life was marked by a spirit that never quit and always stood up for the forgotten or the left behind. On behalf of the people of Guam, First Gentleman Jeff, Lieutenant Governor Josh and I, we offer our deepest condolences and sympathy to his family and loved ones.”

Guam Delegate Michael San Nicolas also issued a statement saying: “Speaker Parkinson fought for the people. His legacy as a champion for consumers was the hallmark of his public service. Our deepest condolences to the Parkinson family. He was a true public servant.”