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Regional daily production chief loses cancer battle aged 46

chris_jpg-pwrt2A regional daily is mourning the loss of an “unflappable” production journalist who has died from cancer aged 46.

Chris Parnell, who had been with Bournemouth’s Daily Echo since 1998, most recently as head of production, died on Tuesday evening.

The father-of-two, pictured left, passed away peacefully at Poole Hospital, surrounded by his loved ones.

He had originally joined Newsquest as a sub-editor at the Southampton Advertiser in 1995 which was then edited by the late Neal Butterworth. Three years later when Neal became editor of the Daily Echo, Chris followed him to Bournemouth, later becoming the paper’s chief sub-editor.

Chris then moved to the Weymouth subbing hub in 2010, as head of multimedia production for all of Newsquest Dorset’s titles.

Newsquest Dorset group editor Toby Granville said: “I only had the pleasure of working with Chris for the last four years when he joined the Weymouth subbing hub and was involved with producing everything from free newspapers, to glossy magazines to our flagship dailies.

“In fact, anything our readers have seen in the last few years would have had his fingerprints on it. Totally unflappable, dedicated and dependable, his meticulous eye for quality and high standards was second to none.

“The Echo has lost a member of its family today and his extraordinary talent will be much missed.”

Lincolnshire born Chris was educated Spalding Grammar School and Wolverhampton Polytechnic and was a keen fan of Norwich City and Bruce Springsteen and also a devoted birdwatcher.

Known for his dry sense of humour, Chris was a popular columnist, who was highly-commended in the 2008 EDF Energy London and the South of England Media Awards for Columnist of the Year.

Chris’s wife Karen, who had been married to him for 17 years, said: “He was my best friend and he was an amazing dad. The children loved him dearly. He was an amazing brother too. He and his brother Ed had a very close relationship.”

He leaves behind two daughters, Emily, 12, and Olivia, nine.


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  • October 16, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Very sorry to hear this. I think Chris was diagnosed with cancer of the blood about 20 years ago, and obviously won that battle. My thoughts are very much with his family and colleagues. RIP.

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  • October 16, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    How sad. Puts all the gripes, however justified, on HTFP, into perspective for a few moments.

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  • October 16, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Lovely guy to work with, called a spade a spade, but totally fair-minded.
    Not many of his calibre left these days…

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