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Terri's Eulogy

In Memory of Terri Gail Parise
1950 – 2006

"Terri now has Eternal Peace and her just reward."


Terri passed away peacefully, painlessly and quietly in the late evening of August 16, 2006. Many people have offered all kinds of help and the kindness of everyone has been overwhelming to our family and very much appreciated. Now the only thing we need is our solitude and the consolation of your prayers.

Terri was not alone as she passed on. She was at home in familiar surroundings, with family members at her side while others carried on with their busy lives, just the way Terri would have wanted it.

As a tribute to Terri’s lovely life, though cut short by the insidiousness of the disease, I have included Terri’s Eulogy that was read at her Mass of Christian Burial. The photographs have been added to help celebrate her wonderful life.

One of Terri’s many attributes was her great sense of humor; of course that meant she always laughed at my jokes, no matter how bad! But one area of humor she enjoyed was reading funny obituaries. With that in mind, we were inspired to write the following obituary for Terri. I do believe that Terri would have enjoyed it immensely.

Terri G. (Ottinger) Parise, 55, of Suffield, beloved wife for 32 years, 1 month and 25 days of Dr. Ronald J. Parise, passed away peacefully in her home on Wednesday (August 16, 2006) after a protracted illness. She was born December 16, 1950 at a very young age in East Lansing, Michigan because she wanted to be close to her mother. Terri then headed south with her now deceased parents Kathleen Virtue Ottinger and Dr. Charles Ottinger where she grew up in the beautiful mountains and farmland of east Tennessee, the land of her father’s kin dating back to the days before the American Revolution. Terri enjoyed her rural upbringing of milking cows, 4-H Fairs and judging poultry (at which she was an expert), and jumping out of barn lofts with the scars to prove it. She also proudly marched in the high school band playing saxophone for the Fighting Cocks of Cocke County High School. Terri was drawn to the big city lights of Atlanta and Emory University (which graduated her with honors in 1972), and where her future husband met and lassoed her. Their life of bliss and raucous living started in the coal fields of West Virginia and carried them over three continents and many adventures. Terri and Ron have many memories including exploring Tut’s tomb in central Egypt, running with the bulls in Pomplona, Spain, watching the setting of the midnight sun north of the Arctic Circle in Narvik, Norway, and coexisting with the Masai tribesman in the African bush while in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro visiting Kenya and Tanzania. Their travels brought them full circle, landing them back in Atlanta to start their family, and then moving north to the hills of Connecticut, their residency for the past 17 years. Terri was an exceptional proofreader, writer and editor, but enjoyed her job most working with special children in the Suffield School system. Known for her contagious smile, bubbly personality, and entirely selfless nature, Terri’s greatest joy was found in her four children. The family enjoyed numerous trips, from frequent visits to distant relatives, to lengthy summer cross-country road trips which took them to all forty-eight contiguous states. Terri possessed a great love for her family and friends, and will be remembered always for her big, kind heart. Survived by three children Katie, Tommy and Robbie, she was predeceased by their oldest son Joey. She is also survived by her sister Kathy Ottinger Cole and husband Dr. Ronald Cole, and brother David Ottinger and wife Kristy, all from Greenville, Tennessee. Terri is also survived by her mother-in-law and father-in-law Frances and Frank Parise, her sister-in-law Susan McManus and husband Tim, brother-in-law Dennis Parise and wife Ann, brother-in-law David Parise and wife Ann, and many nieces, nephews, and an assortment of cousins from all over. Terri’s great sense of humor included her delight in reading funny obituaries. We hope she will enjoy hers. Arrangements for Terri’s final resting have been made. We will receive friends on Wednesday from 4-8:30 p.m. at the Nicholson & Carmon Funeral Home 443 East St. (Rt. 159) Suffield. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday 10 a.m. from Sacred Heart Church, 46 Mountain Rd. Suffield. We will receive friends again on Thursday from 4-8:30 p.m. at the Fairfield Funeral Home of Edmund W. Dougiello, 36 S. Pine Creek Rd. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday 10 a.m. from St. Luke’s Church 84 Long Lots Rd, Westport. Burial will follow in Oaklawn Cemetery, Fairfield. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations to the Joey Parise Scholarship Fund, c/o First National Bank of Suffield, 30 Bridge Street, Suffield, CT, 06078.

Hopefully you had as much fun reading it as we had creating it for Terri.

The painting at the upper left is by Michelangelo circa 1504 of the Holy Family. The infant in the lower right of the painting is John the Baptist and the picture represents the passage, through baptism, from pagan times to the Christian age. Michelangelo was one of Terri’s favorite artists, the Sistine Chapel was one of her favorite places, and Terri was a devout follower of Christ. Hopefully one day we will be able to rejoice in her just reward in Heaven. For now there is great sadness in our home, and a loneliness and emptiness in my broken heart.

To be sure we all know who this classy lady was, please indulge me for a moment.

Terri in college
Terri, the college girl I met.
Terri, the woman I married.
The woman I married
The mother of our children
Terri, the mother of our children.

The kindness of everyone has been overwhelming to our family and very much appreciated after Terri’s passing. People continue to want to help, especially with meals, despite MY enormous girth; yet I guess the children still must eat. With great sincerity and humility to all, after repeated discussions with our dear Wiccan of Wendover, Christine Hoffacker (cell: 860.214.9941), we are requesting that meal arrangements please be made through her. Please understand that without some type of organization, the food and cooking effort may be for naught, which would be a terrible and shameful waste.

It may seem rather arrogant, but we do have unique, although somewhat different eating habits (we like to think healthy eating habits). Thus Wicca Hoffacker has requested I spell it out here for all to see. The diet is simple: no sugar or sweeteners of any type (fructose, cane sugar, corn syrup, honey, sorbitol, saccharin, aspartame, sucralose, stevia, etc.); no wheat in any form (for pastas, substitute with rice (preferably brown or wild), corn pasta, rice pasta or quinoa; for bread, substitute millet bread); and no red, green, or yellow peppers. We consume plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and salads as well. This is why we are somewhat reluctant to have people bring over foods, if you are not used to the diet, finding ingredients or recipes may seem somewhat bothersome. But to those who are adventurous enough, we are very much obliged! So thank you very much for your generosity and thoughtfulness.

Thank you for your support and prayers!

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