William K. Parmenter, 89, a CIA officer who retired in 1980 as the national intelligence officer for sub-Saharan Africa, died April 26 at a care center in Portland, Ore., of complications from a stroke.
The death was confirmed by his wife, Rachel Parmenter.
Mr. Parmenter joined the CIA in 1952. In the early 1960s, he became a writer for and then editor of the president’s daily intelligence brief.
He was deputy chief of the Middle East and Africa division during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War and played a role in the CIA’s accurate forecast of the Israeli victory in the conflict. He was later promoted to chief of the Middle East and Africa division and then to director of the Office of Current Intelligence.
His honors included the Distinguished Intelligence Medal.
William Kean Parmenter was born in Cleveland and raised in the suburb of Lakewood. He was a 1947 graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio and received a doctorate in history from Harvard University in 1952, with a dissertation on colonial African history. He later attended the National War College at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington.
During World War II, he served in the Army in Europe as a combat medic. He was captured by the Germans in December 1944 and was a prisoner of war until the Russian army liberated the camp in April 1945, his family said.
In 1989, he moved to Portland from Falls Church. He was a past member and deacon of Little River United Church of Christ in Annandale.
After his CIA retirement, he was a volunteer docent at the National Air and Space Museum’s Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration and Storage Facility in Suitland.
Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Rachel Ross Parmenter of Portland; three children, Robert R. Parmenter of Placitas, N.M., Elizabeth A. Parmenter of Portland and Barbara M. Parmenter of Brighton, Mass.; and a grandson.
— Adam Bernstein