Eric Parsons BA ’70
February 20, 2019
Eric Parsons BA ’70, trustee of the college from 2009 to 2015, died January 9, 2019.
Parsons grew up in Klamath Falls, Oregon, where his father ran a feed store and taught him the value of treating customers with kindness. The owner of his dad’s company wanted to share his own success with his employees, so he established a scholarship fund for their children. Parsons took that generosity to heart, later saying, “Without his help, I never would have obtained the valuable liberal arts foundation that Lewis & Clark provided.” In 2011, Parsons and his wife, Janet Montag Parsons BS ’73, established the Eric and Janet Parsons Endowed Scholarship at Lewis & Clark College.
He served as chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Standard Insurance Company (The Standard) from 2004 to 2009, capping a career there of more than 40 years. Leading The Standard during a period of steady growth, he also cemented its reputation for community involvement.
A longtime and widely respected business and civic leader, he served tirelessly on the boards of various nonprofits, including the Oregon Community Foundation, the Oregon Health & Science University Foundation, the Portland Art Museum, and the Portland Development Commission.
He is survived by his wife, three of their children, and four grandchildren.