Chris, who worked for the Free Press and our sister newspaper, the Spalding Guardian, between 1990 and 1995, passed away from cancer on Tuesday.
During his time in Spalding, Chris’s interest in wildlife and photography resulted in him working with the Lincolnshire Trust for Nature Conservation on a supplement about nature in the county.
Chris leaves a wife, Holbeach-born Karen Parnell, and two daughters, Emily (12) and Olivia (nine).
Edward Parnell (40) of Norfolk, Chris’s brother, said: “Chris was a wonderful husband and father, as well as the best brother and friend I could have ever wished for.
“We were incredibly close and we’re all devastated by his death.”
Former Free Press and Guardian editor Clive Brown said: “Chris turned out to be a most competent journalist who I admired greatly because of what he did.
“I’m really sorry about his death and particularly sorry for the family.”
A statement from former colleagues still working at the Free Press and Guardian said: “Chris was a lovely man to work with and an excellent journalist. His death is a great loss for all those who knew him and our condolences go out to his family.”