Funeral and Burial Held for 37-Year-Old Oak Park Heights Corrections Officer

October 02, 2018 07:27 PM

He is the second corrections officer in Minnesota to die in the line of duty, ever.

Both happening in the past two months. 

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Funeral Set for Corrections Officer Who Died of Medical Emergency after Responding to Assault

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Officer Joseph Parise died after suffering a medical emergency after rushing to help a fellow guard under attack at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights on Sept. 24.

Tuesday his family, friends and corrections employees remembered him as a hard-working man who loved helping others and telling jokes.

They're also remembering him as a hero, saying it was just like Parise to rush in to help, even in dangerous situations. He did it while serving in the Navy, and he did it last week at the Oak Park Heights prison. 

Hundreds of mourners filled the historic Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel in Minneapolis to remember the 37-year-old. Law enforcement from around the state and dignitaries like Gov. Mark Dayton were there, along with row-after-row of corrections colleagues.

"Every account I have heard, I can honestly say Joe gave up his life as a hero; he was doing what he loved to do and that was helping others," said funeral officiant, Rev. Martin Shanahan.

Friends spoke of Parise's pride he had in his corrections job and his constant positive attitude.

"He had an infectious laugh, a radiant smile that could light up even the darkest of times and Joe loved to have fun," said friend and former corrections officer, James Carter.

They said he loved to play practical jokes on others and did so often. However, he was also a man of great integrity.

"He was honestly one-of-a-kind, and I feel honored and privileged to have even known him," friend and co-worker Robert Harder said.

Parise's funeral procession took him beneath two flag-draped ladder trucks.

Bystanders covered their hearts as Parise, along with hundreds of men and women in uniform driving by.

A sea of corrections officers then made its way into Fairview Cemetery in Stillwater where the Navy veteran was buried with full military honors.

"We are all better people for having had the opportunity to know Joe Parise," said Rev. Shanahan.

An autopsy has not yet detailed how Parise died.

Parise leaves behind his pregnant wife, due with their son this spring, and a two-year-old daughter.

Credits

Jessica Miles

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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