With Colin, family was always number one
COLIN Parsons was a straight shooter, a Ford man who'd give any Holden driver a hard time even if they were his best mate.
But around his grandchildren, it was a different story.
He loved it when his "grandbabies" called him "Pa" and couldn't say no to any requests.
Colin's eldest son, Travis, joked that his firm but fair father wouldn't tell his grandchildren off for anything.
"My son, he's the youngest, if he did anything wrong it wasn't wrong in Dad's eyes," Travis said.
It's clear Colin has left a larger-than-life legacy within the family he valued above all else.
Colin was driving to work at JBS Swift meatworks on Saturday morning when he was killed in a head-on crash on Lakes Creek Rd.
Investigations into the cause of the crash are ongoing but it has devastated two large Rockhampton families.
Colin's wife, Geraldine, is coming to terms with his death but is grateful to be surrounded by friends and family.
"He'd tell me every day 'I love you'," Geraldine said, as one of her youngest sons comforted her and kissed her cheek.
Geraldine and Colin were together for 23 years but she joked it took plenty of convincing to finally become husband and wife.
"He kept asking me to marry him and I'd say 'I'm not the marrying type', then after our last son was born I said 'do you want to get married?' and he said 'finally you want to get married'," Geraldine said.
That sent Colin into planning overdrive.
Geraldine wanted a small wedding but Colin wouldn't hear of it and didn't rest until she got a dream day, which remains one of her most cherished memories of their time together.
Family was everything to Colin and he wasn't one to hide his feelings.
The kids said he would make "corny" romantic gestures.
"He didn't know how to be romantic but he gave it his best shot," Travis said.
Everyone knew how proud Colin was of his seven children (Katie, Sarsha, Natasha, Travis, Sharna, Seth and Trae) and four grandchildren (Azaria, Emily, Bradley and Dominic).
Travis said in the days since the crash, the family had been inundated with messages letting them know how much Colin loved them.
Colin was Rocky born and bred, growing up in Depot Hill and going to school at Crescent Lagoon and Rockhampton High School.
He'd worked at JBS Swift for 20 years and was loved and respected by his colleagues.
Aside from his family, working to provide for his family was one of the most important things in Colin's life.
The other was his beloved car brand.
Colin was a Ford man all the way and everyone knew it.
His family said he'd talk for hours with everyone and anyone about cars and would disappear for hours on his bike or in his car.
The kids joked they hated going to the shops with their dad, because you wouldn't get far before that familiar cry of "hey Colin!" could be heard and then mates would be chatting away.
"Even people he'd only just met had the most respect for him," Travis said.
"That's what it was with him: you show respect, you get respect."
Colin enjoyed the long commute to JBS Swift from Gracemere but had always been worried about the bad stretch of road, which eventually claimed his life.
"He loved long drives by himself," Travis said.
"He always enjoyed being behind the wheel."
Can you help?
- Close family friends Sonia Hughes and Darron Tem-Bohmer have set up a bank account to accept any donations to help the Parsons family during this difficult time
- Account details: BSB 064-710, account number 1067 0949