Folsom Funeral Service

Parla, Thomas G.

On Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, Thomas George Parla, beloved husband, and father, passed away peacefully with his family by his side. He was 64.

A lifelong resident of West Roxbury, MA, Tom was born in Boston to the late Diego and May Parla. Growing up as the only boy in a household with five sisters and only one bathroom, he mastered the art of true patience over contention for the shower. Tom never struggled to start a conversation. He had a contagious smile, friendly and inquisitive nature, and silly sense of humor that could break the tension in any given setting. He was devoted to his church and was always there to lend a hand to those in need. 

Tom worked for 38 years for the United Division of Martignetti. He had a strong work ethic, a palate for fine wines, and he fancied sharing his vino knowledge with family and friends. He loved to tell his stories from earlier years working as ‘the hot dog guy’ in the concession stands at Fenway Park and living ‘the bachelor life’ in Maine with his cousin. When he wasn’t working, he enjoyed several hobbies, dabbling in photography and motorcycles, and ‘tinkering’ on projects and gadgets around the house.

Tom was known for his methodical ways and old-fashioned family values. He chose the simple path in life. More than anything, he loved spending time with his family. Whether at home cooking, reading, watching movies, strolling through the arboretum, or vacationing in Stone Harbor, NJ, and New Hampshire, he took the time to savor every moment of the day. Tom was adored by everyone who’s life he touched. He will be greatly missed and will stay in our hearts forever.

In remembrance of Tom, slow down for a while, take a long walk, put technology aside, savor a home-made meal, and linger a little longer in conversation around the table. And remember to raise your wine glass and toast to Heaven—knowing it will bring a smile from Tom.

Tom Parla is survived by his loving wife, Susan; his daughter, Emily; his son Jeff; siblings, Nancy (Ed) Bingham, Mary (Rich) Rice, Theresa (Roger) Mello, Colleen (Jimmy) Kelly, Judy (Brian) Foster. In addition, he is survived by a large family of nieces, nephews, and cousins.


Viewing: Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022 from 6-8 pm, at the Folsom Funeral Home, 87 Milton Street, DEDHAM, MA 02026.

Funeral Service:  Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, 10am, at the Stratford Street United Church, 77 Stratford Street, West Roxbury, MA 02132, followed by a burial at The Gardens Cemetery: 670 Baker St. Boston, MA 02132.

The Parla family is sincerely grateful for family, friends and church community who have given us support and comfort during difficult times. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Rose’s Bounty Food Pantry, c/o Stratford Street United Church, 77 Stratford St. West Roxbury, MA 02132, or online at, and click the “Donate to RB Here” button.

Guestbook Entries

  1. Ana Rice
    September 19th, 2022 | 10:58 am

    We are so incredibly sorry for your loss. I have been blessed to be a part of this huge Parla Family since I was 10 years old. Even more blessed to have married into this family. Tom was one of the most kindest, sweetest person I ever had the pleasure of knowing. Every time you saw him you were greeted with a big smile and a warm hug. He was a joy to talk and to and just a joy to be around. He will be deeply missed. I only hope you can take comfort in knowing he was greeted by May may as soon as he got to heaven. Stay strong we love you guys so much. Ana, Richie, & Addison.

  2. Anne Fitzgibbon
    September 19th, 2022 | 5:25 pm

    HI. I heard so much about Tom from my sister Sheila. He sounded like a such wonderful man. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  3. Tony saroufim
    September 20th, 2022 | 9:13 am

    I have been a neighbor of Tommy for 36 years. He was an awesome neighboor, always helped me with chores around my house, he would bring his grill as backup when I had big gathering, he brought his tall ladder many times and cleaned my gutters.
    He has visited us and had dinner with us with his lovely daughter Emily on Christmas Eve.
    He was a gentle, soft spoken and always smiling person.
    He always greet me with smile and walks over to chat and see how I and my family doing.
    I will miss you Tom.

  4. Vanessa Tedesco
    September 20th, 2022 | 9:30 am

    On behalf of my family we are so sorry for your loss. Tom was a wonderful person and I enjoyed the time we spent together this past year..

    To live in the hearts of those we leave behind is not to die …

    He will be sorely missed

  5. Tina Heath Burns
    September 20th, 2022 | 10:05 am

    As I feel like I’m a member of this family,
    I wanted to express my deepest sympathies for your loss.
    It is So difficult to lose someone still so young.
    May the memories of him fill your heart every day and keep you strong. ❤️‍❤️‍

  6. Evelyn Amrhein
    September 20th, 2022 | 7:50 pm

    To Susan, Emily and Jeff and all Tommy’s family and loved ones – my deepest and warmest condolences. This beautifully written obituary is especially meaningful because it truly captures Tommy’s spirit. I am a longtime neighbor and just seeing Tommy in the neighborhood was a joy; he was always willing to take the time to chat when we could but even if I was driving by, Tommy would flash a genuine big smile and give a hearty wave. He will be missed more than you would know; a testament to a really “good guy”. I can’t fathom the family’s loss. May you all find strength during this difficult time and may his memory be eternal.

  7. Rose Smith
    September 21st, 2022 | 1:16 pm

    We are so sorry for your loss. I have been Sue’s best friend since high school. In my eyes they were the perfect couple. Tom was such a sweet, kind, very funny guy with the most contagious smile. May your family cherish all the beautiful memories. My thoughts and prayers are with your beautiful family.

  8. Peter, Susann, Aidan & Liam Low
    September 21st, 2022 | 3:16 pm

    In 20+ years of Scouting we were blessed to have Tom as a second adult to camp, a trip driver, an event helper, and more. Never without a kind word, always bringing humor and sometimes practical jokes which always added levity. He could talk to anyone, about anything. I would share stories how I would sneak fabric (that I certainly didn’t need) or vintage ‘junk’ into my home without my husband knowing and Tom would share his technique of getting gorgeous wooden wine boxes in when he, too, knew he had enough of them. Nobody made you feel more welcome; nobody was more willing to share his talents and superpowers. The world is less-than with him gone and this week’s gray skies match our spirit. We’re so very sorry for the pain; Tom shoulda been around for another 35-40 years.

  9. kathleen leone
    September 22nd, 2022 | 2:05 pm

    Sue, Geoff and Emily: Such a wonderful write up of your Dad. I have know Tom (and Sue) for almost 40 years. He was one of the most genuine people I have ever known. So sorry for your loss. The world will miss him for sure. Love, Kathleen

  10. Carolann Costello
    September 22nd, 2022 | 8:52 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. Tom’s kindness and welcoming persona at Stratford Street Church is something I will never forget. He always had a warm smile and seemed genuinely interested in whatever you had to share in conversation. I have such happy memories when I think of all the times I got to chat with him at church. I will always be grateful our paths crossed- even if for too short a time.

  11. Elizabeth Milano
    September 22nd, 2022 | 9:08 pm

    This is the most thoughtful, touching obituary I have ever read. Every word is spot on and describes Tom perfectly. Tom was a wonderful neighbor and friend. He was always there to lend an ear–he was never too busy to catch up.

    Sue, Emily, and Jeff, we are so sorry for your loss.

    Tom, we pledge to take a moment to slow down each day and remember the important things in life. Thank you for teaching us this important lesson. We will miss you.

    Elizabeth, Nick, & Ryan Milano

  12. Christine Bingham
    September 23rd, 2022 | 8:16 am

    When I think of Uncle Tommy, I remember how he made everybody feel included in our big family. Whether it was with a funny joke, or to gather everybody close for family photos, Tommy was there bringing everybody together.

    We love you, Tommy!

    Christine Bingham and Ryan Devanney

  13. Ross Mikulskis
    September 25th, 2022 | 3:46 pm

    Tom was truly an amazing man. Although most of my memories of him were years ago from when Jeff and I would hang out when we went to the Lyndon together, I always remembered his kindness. He really was a joy to be around.

  14. Brian Angel Burke
    September 25th, 2022 | 6:47 pm

    Tom was such a wonderful and caring man. He loved his family so much. He will be deeply missed. I cherished our times together at Scout meetings and on Scouting trips…a few of which turned into real adventures! He had the best stories he would share as we hiked and sat around the fire. He was so proud of his children for so many reasons, Emily for her independence and spirit and Jeff for obtaining Eagle Scout.
    Sue, we are thinking of you and our prayers are with you and the family.

  15. Christopher Lambros
    September 25th, 2022 | 8:42 pm

    Having known Tommy for nearly 50 years, my thoughts are with his family as I know first hand what a fabulous guy he was. We had many adventures throughout the years growing up. Tommy was always a happy go lucky friend you could count on. I will always treasure the memories of our motorcycle rides up to Hampton Beach, NH, Newport, RI and other adventures too numerous to count. Returning to visit West Roxbury from Arizona yearly, I looked forward to catching up with Tommy, if only for a few minutes. He will not be forgotten. Rest easy, my friend.
    Christopher Lambros

  16. Jean McKinney
    September 25th, 2022 | 10:06 pm

    I was so sorry to hear about Tom’s passing. I enjoyed many conversations with him, in the back of the room while Scouting meetings were going on. He was a spiritual and caring man, and very proud of his family. Our prayers for his family. Jean McKinney

  17. Mark Abber
    September 27th, 2022 | 10:22 am

    I’m so sorry to hear of Tom’s passing. He was a gentle and kind spirit. I got to know Tom during scouting; he was always a quiet force behind the scenes making sure the scouts were doing well and offing guidance but letting them learn and grow on their own. I very much appreciated that style. I also greatly enjoyed many conversations with him on the trails and by the campfire, hearing about his cross-country journeys, learning about different wines, growing up with 5 sisters, and bonding over our sons having similar personalities. We all are better for knowing Tom and he will be greatly missed. His devotion to his wife Sue, daughter Emily and son Jeff is an example for all of us to follow. Miss you Tom!

  18. Margie Mikulskis
    September 28th, 2022 | 8:33 am

    Tom was a kind, generous, humble and caring man. We have fond memories of spending time with Tom and Sue since our kids were little, especially the last time we spent together at the Cape. Tom helped us out so generously whenever we asked. We admired Tom’s devotion and love for Sue – such a beautiful marriage, and also his love for Emily and Jeff, always a strong, loving and supportive dad. We will really miss Tom. We know he is at peace in God’s loving embrace. Sue, Emily and Jeff, may Tom’s memory stay with you and remind you how special and loved you are.

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Folsom Funeral Service

Folsom Funeral Service