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He was the ‘pillar of our family,’ says daughter of man killed in Rexdale shooting

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He was a loving husband, a devoted father of seven, and a beloved grandfather of 12.

The “pillar of our family” who provided “not only love and support but also a sense of security and stability,” Delroy “George” Parkes’ eldest daughter, Jaidyn, said.

Late Sunday night, the York Region resident was playing dominoes and socializing after playing soccer with a large group of friends outside North Albion Collegiate Institute in Rexdale when two suspects pulled up in a newer-model, black or blue pickup truck, exited the vehicle, and fired up to 50 shots, striking five of the men before fleeing the scene.

Parkes, who was affectionately known to many as Uncle George, was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, but died there a short time later. He was 61.

The other four victims, who are some of Parkes’ closest friends, sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

Speaking with CP24 late Tuesday afternoon, his second youngest child, 23-year-old Jaidyn, said that her mother, Heather, received a call late Sunday night from one of her dad’s best friends informing her that he’d been shot. Jaiden said that her mom could hear her father moaning in pain in the background and saying that he wasn’t going to make it. She said that her mom initially rushed over to the North Albion Collegiate, where she learned from the police what hospital her husband had been taken to. Sadly, by the time Heather arrived, it was too late, Jaidyn relayed.

Delroy “George” Parkes with his wife, Heather. (Parkes family photo)

Word of Parkes’ death spread quickly to his children and relatives.

“This has completely torn apart our family,” Jaidyn told CP24.com late Tuesday afternoon.

Delroy “George” Parkes with some of his grandchildren. (Parkes family photo)

Parkes came to Canada in 1991 from Saint Ann’s Bay, Jamaica and had called Woodstock home for several years before recently moving to Maple.

He is being remembered as a generous and kind family man and friend who was willing to go to above and beyond for everyone he met, Jaidyn said on a crowdfunding page she created to raise funds for her dad’s funeral and to help support their family.

“(My father) was the best person ever. … He lived a simple life and was all about peace, love, and the community,” she told CP24.com.

“Our phones have been ringing off the hook (since the news broke of his passing). Hundreds of people have been reaching out. He made a mark on so many.”

Jaidyn, who is 23, wrote on the Go Fund Me that her father was a “beautiful human being who loved his family deeply” and a “man of strong faith” who read his Bible daily and “dedicated his life to the Lord.”

Delroy “George” Parkes with his daughter Jaiden and son Joshua. (Parkes family photo)

She said that he had a passion for playing soccer and dominoes with his friends, which she said he did “every night in a peaceful and friendly gathering” for the last 30 years. Parkes was a member of the North Kipling soccer league.

Jaidyn also said her recently retired father was a handy person who often repaired vehicles and things around the house. He’d made the table on which he and his friends played dominoes and was in the process of building her a home bakery, she shared.

Sadly, Parkes was killed just days before Jaidyn graduated from Toronto Metropolitan University with a degree in social work. She is the first of his seven children to earn a post-secondary education.

Delroy “George” Parkes with his eldest daughter, Jaidyn. (Parkes family photo)

“Our hearts are broken, and our lives have been forever changed (by this tragedy),” Jaidyn wrote on the GoFundMe page.

A private funeral service for Parkes in currently being organized.

Since the shooting, Toronto police have increased the number of officers in Rexdale area and have set up a command post in the community. They continue to canvas the neighbourhood for both witnesses and video surveillance footage.

With files from CP24’s Bryann Aguilar and Beatrice Vaisman.

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