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Thomas R. Parry

Obituary
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Parry, Thomas R. RENSSELAER At this Thanksgiving time, we are thankful for the gift of Thomas Ralph Parry who passed away on Tuesday, November 26, 2013, in the loving arms of his wife and surrounded by his five children at St. Peter's Hospital, after a courageous two-month battle with cancer. Tom was born on October 16, 1934, the youngest son of the late Ralph and Mary (O'Neil) Parry of Rensselaer. Tom was a graduate of Christian Brothers Academy in Albany, where "Big Red" played football, and St. Michael's College in Vermont. Tom also served and is a veteran of the U.S. Navy. In 1963, Tom's father suffered a fatal heart attack and Tom took over the family businesses, O'Neil's Bar & Grill and the Cottage Card Shop on Broadway in Rensselaer. O'Neil's was well known by local workers for its friendly atmosphere, but especially for its famous lunchtime burgers. It was also the place of many family celebrations, especially for the Parry and Downes families. In 1982, O'Neil's fell victim to arson and Tom decided not to rebuild, instead going to work full time as a tour bus operator for Yankee Trails World Travel, owned by his life-long dear friend John Tobin. Tom, better known as "Rusty" to his co-workers and customers, traveled the country and became a very popular driver due to his knowledge, attention to detail, and care he always displayed while doing his job. Tom had an outgoing personality and always made everyone around him feel comfortable, like they were an old friend. He was famous for greeting everyone with a big smile and an even bigger bear hug. Additionally, he is very well known to generations of young children as Santa there's never been a better one. But most of all, Tom was an extremely devoted family man who loved spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren. Tom was a true Irish Catholic and a lifelong parishioner of St. Joseph's Church, now the Parish of St. John the Evangelist and St. Joseph of Rensselaer. He was also a 61-year lifetime member of the Rensselaer Knights of Columbus. Tom is survived by the love of his life, his wife of 53 years, Susan Campbell Parry, and his five children, Donna (Michael) Bushey of Rensselaer, Timothy (Vittoria) Parry of East Greenbush, Susie (Paul) Malinowski of Clifton Park, Christopher (Lorri) Parry of East Greenbush and Diana (Tom) Beaudoin of Cranberry Township, Pa; his grandchildren, Lauren and Andrew, Stephen and Ryan, Emily and Aidan, Rachel, Kristen and Nicky, and Hannah, Jack, Olivia and Ava. Tom was predeceased by his brother William and was the brother-in-law of Andy and "Bunny" Campbell of Camillus. Tom was also survived by many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends to whom he was very close. The Parry family would like to express a special thanks to all the "Angels" at St. Peter's Hospital who touched his life while in their loving care. Funeral from the W.J. Lyons Jr. Funeral Home, 1700 Washington Ave., Rensselaer on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist and St. Joseph Church Herrick Street, Rensselaer where a Liturgy of Christian Death and Burial will be offered. Relatives and friends are invited and may call at the funeral home on Monday from 4 to 8 p.m. Interment will be in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, East Greenbush. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to , www.stjude.org
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Funeral Home
W.J. Lyons Jr. Funeral Home
1700 Washington Ave
Rensselaer, NY 12144
(518) 286-3400
Published in Albany Times Union on Nov. 30, 2013
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