Parise's funeral Friday; family asks that memorials go to charity 'close to J.P.'s heart'


Jean-Paul "J.P." Parise will be remembered not only for his hockey career, but for his kindness, compassion and for caring about the simple things in life – a tickle, a beard rub or a wrestling match with his sons, his obituary reads.

The former Minnesota North Star and Team Canada standout and father of Minnesota Wild winger Zach Parise, died Jan. 7 after a year-long battle against Stage 4 lung cancer. He was 73.

Memorial services for the NHL star are scheduled for Friday afternoon – an open day in the Wild's schedule, which will allow players and staff to attend the services, the Star Tribune notes.

"Dear Dad," is how his obituary on the Ballard-Sunder funeral home's website began, remembering his joy and laughter, and his hard fought fight against cancer.

"Picture after picture showing love and tenderness, compassion and kindness, pride and modesty, is a constant reminder that we lost the best man we will ever know. We watched in awe as you treated everyone with respect, dignity, and thoughtfulness, always making sure that the people who surrounded you walked away better people after being with you."

The celebration of life service will be at 3 p.m., with visitation starting at 1 p.m. at the Colonial Church of Edina, the obituary says.

The Parise family is asking that memorials for J.P. be sent to Defending The Blue Line, a cause that was "dear to J.P.'s heart."

The Minnesota-based nonprofit gives children of military members the chance to play hockey by providing hockey equipment, free summer hockey camps, and grants to help pay association fees.

J.P. Parise served on the organization's board of directors for three years and was an active member of its board of legends, according to a post on the organization's website.

Defending The Blue Line says it is "very honored for these gifts in memory of a great man."

Zach Parise has missed a few games the last two weeks to be with his father and family. He returned to the ice Saturday in the Wild's 3-1 loss to Nashville.

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