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Joseph “Joe” Parra

Mar 19, 1961 - Sep 04, 2023


The Man. The Myth. The Legend. Joseph “Joe” Parra, 62, was beckoned to our Lord on Monday, September 4th, 2023.

The Man.
Joe was born in Sheboygan during the spring of 1961 to the sharply-dressed, Hector Parra and ever-witty, Darlene. He has 3 brothers, Lee, Chuck and Curt, and one brave sister, Raquel. During family dinners, Joe would often share their mischievous tales including once being hung by his feet and left to escape by his own wits.

Being thrusted into independence at a young age, Joe was employed as a paperboy for the Sheboygan Press and then as a short-order cook at IHOP.

Joe’s young life included such highlights as being Homecoming Winter Festival King at Horace Mann Middle School and meeting his first wife, Denise. He then attended Sheboygan North High School where he spent many nights having fun with his close friends, not getting into any trouble at all. Everything was legit. Don’t ask any questions.

He proudly joined the United States Marine Corp. in 1979. He was stationed at Camp Lejeune, in Jacksonville, North Carolina. A natural leader, Joe was promoted to Lance corporal. He served 1 year overseas in Okinawa, Japan, where he was an expert rifle instructor. Joe also put his entrepreneurial skills to use as a small-time loan shark. His time in Japan was precious to him and reflected on it often with family. He was honorably discharged in 1982.

When Joe returned to the United States, his 8 month old daughter, Jennifer, was anxiously waiting for him. Joe was a devoted father. He worked tirelessly at Richardson Lumber Company to create a good life for his young family. He gave Jennifer everything a daughter could dream of, including the playful nickname, “Ugs.” Which is short or Ugly, but don’t let that fool you, she was not.

Joe was active in the furniture workers union, AFL-CIO. He served as Vice-President of the local 800.

The Myth.
Joe did not, in fact, know everything. The claim may have spilled out from time to time, but mostly, he knew a little about a lot. Or, he “knew a guy.” Joe’s background is maintenance and his very first teacher was his father who could fix anything.

He bought a boat which would mythically take up a lot of his time and money. He loved boating and would take anyone he could out for an adventure. Joe kept up with computer technology, first as a hobby then as a career path. He both taught himself and took many classes.

He then took the Facility Maintenance Manager position at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. There he set up the first computer lab at Christ Child Academy. Later becoming the technology coordinator for the school and church.

The Legend.
Joe would spend the last 30 years of his life devoted to the students, staff and parishioners of Immaculate Conception, Christ Child Academy and the entire Southside Tri-Parish Community.

It is here, he met the love of his life, Jodi Parra. Jodi would become his best friend which included things such as being the first mate on his boat and clinging for dear life on his UTV. She was everything to him. Not only would she astound him with her creativity and copious amounts of glitter in his carpet but with the unconditional love she would give to his daughter, parents and entire family.

Jodi and Joe wed in Mexico in 2011. Joe’s family grew as he became the step-father to Terra Armstrong, whom he loved as his very own. And inherit the kindness and fortitude of Jodi’s tight-knit family.

Joe’s legend knows no bounds. Joe would greet everyone with a “Howdy” and a smile, and a handshake, sometimes an ill-timed joke, if you were lucky. He just loved everyone.

As a son, the care he gave to his parents is beyond compare. For years, he and Jodi prepared weekly family dinners where their family and grandkids could gather, laugh, make concoctions and feel so loved. He tirelessly attended to his parents needs, any time, day or night. He was the very best son.

As a father, he instilled unconditional kindness, relentless compassion and the love of crude, “too soon” jokes. He instilled the value of education. He worked hard to ensure she had access to all opportunities. He was the very best father.

As a grandfather, his legend will live in infamy. His eldest grandchild Josefina, was named after him. She will live knowing that he loved her more than words could articulate. Their countless times on the boat, going to movies, playing chess, creating podcasts and just talking about life will be handed down for generations. And to his young grandsons, Jack and Rayden, we will honor his legend by sharing the stories of how much their papa Joe loved them and, only when appropriate, tell to them his horrible jokes. He was the very best grandfather.

As a husband, Joe loved Jodi with all his heart and soul. Their love for each other is truly the stuff of legends.

And legends never die. Semper Fi.

Joe Parra was predeceased by his mother, Darlene Parra. He is survived by his wife, Jodi Parra; Father, Hector Parra; Daughters, Jennifer Parra Nelsen (Jeremy Nelsen) and Terra Armstrong (Jorge Godbert). His siblings Lee Parra (Monica Parra), Chuck Parra (Cheryl Parra), Raquel Speciale (Robert Speciale) and Curt Parra (Toni Parra). Grandchildren, Josefina Nelsen, Jack Nelsen and Rayden Godbert.

The service to honor this legend will be held at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 1305 Humbolt Ave, Sheboygan on Saturday, September 16, 2023 with visitation from 10:00 a.m. until the time of Mass at 1:00 p.m. Burial will follow at Immaculate Conception Cemetery with military honors.


Date: Saturday Sep 16, 2023
Time: 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
Location: Immaculate Conception Catholic Church [map]

Funeral Mass

Date: Saturday Sep 16, 2023
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Location: Immaculate Conception Catholic Church [map]



Guestbook Entries SIGN GUESTBOOK

Marci Hughes

Dear Jodi and Family: I have been thinking about you so much since I heard the saddening news. It's really affected me and I never even met Joe, but know it's because of the heartbreak you are going through. I can see what a great person he was from your Facebook photos and comments and only wish I could have met the man who has made you so happy. I will continue to pray for your strength to face each day and that you may understand some day why he was taken too soon. All my love and big hugs to you and know I am here for you if there is anything you need. May God bless your hearts and keep you close to help with your journey of healing. Love, Marci

jill and paul mersberger

We are grateful to have had such a great brother-in-law who fit into our family perfectly, We want to treasure the life you have shared with us over the pain that your passing has brought us. It was an honor to have a person like you in our lives and what an incredible husband you were to my sister.

Tyler Parra

To me, Uncle Joe will always be the perfect example of a fun-loving family man. Our entire family will miss him dearly. I will take solace in knowing that he is now watching over us all.

Sarai Pastor Calvo

Dear Parra family. We are really sorry for your loss, we Pray for you and asked god to bring peace to your hearts. Reveiced a strong hug from your mexican family, you will be on our prayers. Love Sarai Pastor.

Curt Parra

You were more than a brother and not just a friend. I was lucky enough to be your little brother and have you in my life as long as I did. I wish we had more time but larger plans must lay ahead for you. I will forever miss you. God speed brother.