Cover photo for Barbara J Parpala's Obituary
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1923 Barbara 2014

Barbara J Parpala

November 4, 1923 — January 5, 2014

Barbara Josephine Parpala Vancouver, Washington November 4, 1923 January 5, 2014 Barbara Josephine Parpala, 90, made her way to heaven on January 5, 2014, in Vancouver, Washington. Barbara was born to Andrew and Marie Thorsnes, immigrants from Norway, on November 4, 1923, in Astoria, Oregon. She was one of six children, and grew up being her mother's number one helper. Her father owned and operated The Glass Shop in Astoria until his retirement. Barbara was very busy during her high school years. She was a good student, active in many different school organizations, in particular the Varsity Pep Club. After graduation, she moved to Portland, Oregon, and worked for Rudie Wilhelm Trucking. There she began dating John Parpala, brother of her dear friend, Marta Parpala. Their relationship grew and they were married on July 1, 1944. John was graduating from dental school in Portland at that time, and they moved back to Astoria, where John joined his father's dental practice in downtown Astoria. As the business grew, so did the family. By 1952, they were the proud, hard working parents of Jan, David, Ken and Kathy. Barbara chose to stay home raising their family, and was very involved in their many activities. After all of the children had graduated and were on their own, Barbara joined John as his dental assistant and office manager. They were active members of Peace Lutheran Church, and very involved in civic organizations in Astoria. They both loved the Lions Club, for all the good the organization does for others, and for the wonderful people who were involved. They each received the Melvin Jones Award from the club. Barbara and John were well known in Astoria. They could always be counted on to volunteer and lend a helping hand. People would comment that they loved seeing them walking hand in hand down the main streets of Astoria, probably off to the bakery for a pastry, or perhaps riding their bikes to the Pig 'n Pancake. Fishing, golfing, tennis and clam-digging were some of their favorite pastimes. When the kids were young, they spent weekends camping out and boating at their duck shack. Sharing time as a family was always very important to them. In September, 1990, Barbara's time with John was tragically cut short when he suffered a heart attack, and passed at age 68. Some of Barbara's dear friends had also lost their spouses and were learning to cope without their loved ones. She joined her friend, Doris Abrahamson, in creating a support group called Echoes. They helped each other cope, broke bread and played together. In 2008, health issues prompted a move from Astoria to Vancouver, Washington, so she could be closer to her family. Fishers Landing Assisted Living was her home until 2011 when, needing a higher level of assistance, she moved to All 4 Care, an adult family home. Lavenia and Dan Lomnasan treated Barbara like a member of their own family. We will always be grateful for their love, graciousness and caring for our mother. We would also like to thank Community Hospice of Vancouver. Prior to Barbara's passing, Kathy, her youngest, unexpectedly joined heaven's angels on November 20, 2013. Kathy's husband, Gary Anderson, remains at their home in Orting, Washington. Barbara is survived by children Jan (Jim) Paschall, Dave (Fran) Parpala, and Ken Parpala; 8 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren (who affectionately call here "GG", for Great-Grandmother); nieces and nephews, and sister-in-law, Marta Saarheim. When Barbara was asked to complete the sentence "With the time left in my life, I hope to accomplish the following...." She would answer, "to enjoy every moment, and show it." In lieu of flowers, remembrances can be made to the WELCA Group at Peace Lutheran Church, or to the Oregon/SW Washington Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. A celebration of Barbara's life will be held at Peace Lutheran Church in Astoria in May 2014 (date to be determined). Hughes Ransom Mortuary in Astoria is in charge of arrangements. Visit our website at to leave condolences and sign the guest book.

Funeral Home:
Hughes-Ransom Mortuary Astoria
576 12th St
Astoria, OR 97103
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Hughes Ransom Mortuary & Crematory -Astoria

576 12th Street, Astoria, OR 97103

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