A tribute to our colleague and friend, Parker Fillmore
All Fillmore Riley team members who knew Parker Fillmore, members of the legal community and former clients mourn the loss of a talented lawyer and friend. Parker passed on December 27, 2020.
Even though Parker was the grandson of one of the firm’s founding fathers, W.P. Fillmore, he did not grow up with a silver spoon. His father, Charlie, a partner with Fillmore, Riley and Fillmore, died of leukemia at 46 when Parker was six years old. His mother, Kay, raised Parker, and two older sisters Charlotte and Cathy, on her own during a time when there was little support for single mothers. Parker had not considered becoming a lawyer until his sister Cathy encouraged him to go to law school. After Parker completed his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Winnipeg in 1971, he went to law school at the University of Manitoba. He received his Call to Bar in 1975 and completed his articles at Fillmore Riley.
When he started practising law at Fillmore Riley, he was the twelfth lawyer on the firm’s letterhead. Unlike his father and grandfather, who practised civil litigation, Parker focused on corporate-commercial, real property and wills and estates matters, Parker prided himself on consistently delivering a high level of client service. He was generally the first person in the firm to put the coffee on, often arriving at the office as early as 6:00 a.m. Parker believed providing value to his clients was the best way to honour his father’s and grandfather’s legacy. W.P. Fillmore had a reputation for providing outstanding legal services to his clients, and his grandson was cut from the same cloth.
As a member of the firm’s Management Committee, Parker played an integral role in the evolution of the firm. As the firm grew in size and embraced technological changes, Parker volunteered his time on a daily basis to shepherd the firm through its rapid growth and technology upgrades. During his tenure on Management, Parker was the partner responsible for the firm’s human resource department and premises. He set an example for the young lawyers who joined the firm that it was important to serve on committees and that “giving back” remained a vital part of the firm’s culture.
After practising law at Fillmore Riley for almost four decades, Parker retired from practice in 2012. Retirement freed up more time for Parker to pursue his many interests and passions. Parker was a keen motorcycle enthusiast. He took great delight in collecting and riding his many antique motorcycles. His prized possessions were his Harley Davidson “big bikes” from the 1940s and 1950s, as well as his deluxe 1937 Indian Chief. Parker was also an avid gun collector and war memorabilia collector. His house and his garage contained many great “finds” that he had accumulated over the years. Parker was interested in history, had a curious mind and a wonderful sense of humour. Never mean spirited but often devilish, Parker made practising both enjoyable and great fun for the lawyers and support staff at our firm.
Parker will be deeply missed but never forgotten by those of us who had the honour and pleasure to practise law with him at Fillmore Riley. Parker, rest in peace.