MARQUETTE, MI – Burt E. Parolini, Jr., 90, of Marquette, died Friday morning September 2, 2022 at the Michigan Veterans Home – DJ Jacobetti. During his final days he was cared for by his two daughters, staff at Jacobetti and UP Home Health & Hospice.
Burt was born July 31, 1932, in Ishpeming, to the late Burt E. and Alice M. (Clulo) Parolini, Sr. He resided in the area his entire life and graduated in 1950 from Graveraet High School. In 1955, he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Northern Michigan University. While in college, he worked at Bay Cliff Health Camp in Big Bay, where he enjoyed helping children with physical disabilities have meaningful and fun camp experiences. After graduating from NMU, he served in the United States Army for two years in the United States.
Upon entering the workforce in 1957, Burt was employed by the Marquette Mining Journal for ten years as a retail advertising manager, where he sold and designed print advertisements for local businesses and mining suppliers. services. During this time, he met his future wife, Terri, at a dentist appointment she attended. For their first date, he took her to his favorite place on earth, his family’s camp on Lake Superior in Buckroe. The couple married in 1966 at St. Michael’s in Marquette. Throughout their 56-year marriage, Burt and Terri enjoyed hosting and attending social events, traveling the United States and beyond, taking long night walks along the lake and around their neighborhood of is, and later participate in activities together (including playing bingo) at Maison Jacobetti.
In 1966, Burt left his career in the press and joined the brokerage firm Paine, Webber, Jackson & Curtis as a financial consultant, where he gave personal investment advice to hundreds of clients during his 22 years of career. After Paine Webber’s Marquette office closed in 1988, he continued his career working for Edward D. Jones & Co. He retired from paid work in 1993.
Community involvement was a hallmark of Burt’s life, and his civic engagements spanned several decades. Both a leader and a member-at-large, he has contributed hundreds of hours of service to a wide range of committees, organizations and boards. Of particular note, he served on the board of the former Marquette Catholic Credit Union (now Embers Credit Union) from 1966 to 2000, where he also served as Chairman of the Board of administration from 1976 to 1979 and from 1985 to 1990. In 1993, during his time in the credit union, Burt was named Michigan Credit Union Person of the Year. An avid Rotarian for 53 years, Burt was an active member and past president of the Marquette Rotary Club (1980-1981) and received a Paul Harris Fellowship through Rotary International. He has also served on the AMCAB Board of Directors and was Past President of the American Cancer Society, Marquette County. Continually honing his speaking skills, Burt served as Past President of the Speak Easy Toastmasters Club and later the Superiorland Toastmasters Club. He was a founding member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church.
Throughout his life, Burt had countless hobbies, including fishing, bird watching, gardening, studying history, traveling, and most importantly, reading. A voracious reader, he read anything and everything, and his shelves were always overflowing. He had his own “Desk” space at the Jacobetti home and could be found reading all manner of material until his final weeks.
Burt loved being a grandfather, and his grandchildren will always see him as funny, kind, and loving, and always smiling when they were around. One of their favorite memories is when he taught the older kids how to play blackjack and dice, when they were all between 5 and 11 years old! A savvy instructor, whether he was asked to present to a school group, solve a difficult math problem, or simply share an important life skill, Burt was an exceptional teacher and tutor, always challenging his students and those who he liked to do their best.
As a father, grandfather, friend and colleague, Burt will be remembered for his kindness, dedication, tenacity, creativity and intelligence. He was fiercely loyal and would do whatever was necessary to protect and honor those he loved. There was a soft side to Burt that if you were lucky enough to discover, you always knew how special you were to him. He was truly at his best when enjoying the outdoors, especially the camp woods. The warm sun, the rustle of the leaves and the lapping of the waves have always brought him comfort and the peace and quiet he has always cherished.
Burt is survived by his three children, Carol (John) Pitz of Chanhassen, MN, Susan (John) Arend of Belmont, MI, and John Parolini of Grand Rapids, MI; six grandchildren, Eric and Brian Pitz, Michael, Katelyn and Kyle Arend, Piper Parolini; one brother, George W. Parolini, father of Troy, MI; and several nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his beloved wife, Terri, who died on August 8 this year, in addition to his parents.
The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at the DJ Jacobetti Home for Veterans for the exceptional care provided to Burt over the past 12 1/2 years. From nursing to activities and every other department in between, these dedicated individuals have created a community away from home in which Burt and Terri have truly become honored members.
The Parolini family will welcome relatives and friends on Friday, September 9, beginning at 10 a.m., at St. Michael’s Catholic Church. A Christian funeral mass will be celebrated in the church at noon, with the Reverend Gregory Heikkala officiating. Lunch will be served at Zyrd Parish Center at the church immediately after mass. Interment will be in the park cemetery. Burt’s four grandsons will serve as his escort.
Those wishing to express sympathy are asked to consider Bay Cliff Health Camp, PO Box 310, Big Bay, MI 49808, in memory of Burt.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Canale-Tonella Funeral Home and Cremation Services, where Burt’s memories can be shared at canalefuneral.com.