Remembering Council 4 Service Rep Bob Parziale, 1960-2022

The Council 4 union family suffered a terrible loss with the death of Service Representative Robert “Bob” Parziale, who died unexpectedly June 18 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury. He was 61.

“Parz,” as he was routinely and affectionately called, joined Council 4 in 2008 after a 20-plus year career as a state correction officer. 

“Bob gave every ounce of his energy to helping our members and making sure they were okay on the job and at home,” Council 4 Executive Director Jody Barr said. “Parz was tough and formidable, but also incredibly compassionate and caring.”

Parz grew up and lived in Waterbury. He joined  AFSCME Local 1565 while working in the New Haven Correctional Center, and then AFSCME Local 387 when he transferred to the Cheshire Correctional Institution. He was Local 387’s treasurer and also served as a union steward.

“Bob was a caring and passionate person who was always willing to assist anyone through whatever problem they had,” said Council 4 Service Representative Steve Carbone, who worked alongside Parz at Manson Youth Institution as an officer, steward and local union member-leader. “He spent his entire life helping people whether they had small issues or serious problems. Bob had a big heart and a wonderful soul.”

Carbone and former Council 4 Staff Reps Donald Sevas and Jeff Scanlon — both of whom worked with Parz in Cheshire — urged him to apply for a position at Council 4, which he eventually did after working other jobs when he retired from the Department of Correction.

“Bob was a good friend and an individual you could call upon for sound guidance, confidential advice or just to brighten your day,” Carbone added. He always spoke directly and frankly to people.  I’ve always admired that trait of Bob’s. I am going to miss the times I’ve spent with my friend.”

In his 14 years at Council 4, Parz became a bedrock for many of our municipal and Board of Education units, providing all levels of service to our members.

When he wasn’t busy handling grievances, assisting in contract negotiations or helping organize new members and making sure they signed their membership cards, Parz was a reliable presence at labor actions like rallies and conferences He also made sure to connect members with legislative and political developments impacting our union and the statewide labor movement.

“Bob's friendly and unfiltered feedback meant so much to me when I became a leader in my local,” said Brian Mezick, president of AFSCME Local 2193, the State Marshals Association of Connecticut. “He made us all better, and he was a great example to me. Bob was always ready to help, always ready to get going, always ready to be a cheerleader for our causes.”

Parz was instrumental in helping to organize and then service AFSCME Local 2193.

“Bob was a great guy. I am going to miss his style and personality that he put into everything,” Mezick added. “It was a privilege to know and work with Bob.”

Parz leaves behind his beloved daughter, Olivia, his fiancée, Lonnie Cavanaugh, and countless friends and family members who are devastated by his sudden passing but inspired by his selflessness, his dedication and his devotion to making sure people were treated fairly.

“Bob was one in a million,” said Council 4 Staff Representative Roberta Price, another long-time friend. “I am really going to miss him. Parz was passionate about life and his family and friends.  You could call him day or night and he was there when you were in need. He loved his union and what it stands for.”

To honor Bob's memory, please consider a donation to the St Vincent DePaul Center, 34 Willow St. Waterbury, CT 06710 or to the charity of your choice.