Joe McParlin, who passed away at the age of 54 earlier this week, will be missed in so many places, including on the ball fields and basketball courts of Pawtucket. In all my years at The Times, I never met a father who cared more about his family than Joe. He worked at The Times for awhile and would bring his young son Michael up to the sports desk occasionally, giving me the latest information on Mike's martial arts accomplishments. Michael was always the most polite of kids, even at the age of 7. Joe brought his sons (Brian and Kyle came along later) up the right way. Respect your elders. Display good manners.
I think our community is diminished when we lose people like Joe McParlin at such a young age. His absence leaves a big hole in so many lives. How many fathers are there like Joe McParlin anymore, people who put their children's lives ahead of their own? People who work hard to make ends meet and end up being rewarded when their sons go off to college.
Young Mike is all grown up now, a college graduate and the head coach at Our Lady of Fatima over in Warren. His brothers are younger and will miss their father just as much.
My own father died suddenly at 53 so I can understand some of what the McParlins, including Joe's wife Lise, must be feeling as they deal with the shock of such a sudden departure. Eventually, you go back to living, but you never get over the loss of a father whose life was cut short.
Joe lives on through his children and through the memories of people who were fortunate enough to know the man. Rest in peace, my friend. -- Terry Nau