Denise J. (Engling) Parsons

Denise J. (Engling) Parsons

Denise J. (Engling) Parsons, age 67, of Dubuque, was called home peacefully at 6:14 p.m., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, at her home surrounded by her family. To celebrate Denise’s life, family and friends may visit from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., on Monday, January 11, 2021, at Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street. Due to COVID-19 concerns the number of people inside the building will be limited, all who attend will be required to wear a face covering, and are asked to please maintain social distancing practices. To honor Denise’s life, funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., on Tuesday, January 12, 2021, at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 2145 JFK Road, with Rev. Kristian Kincaid officiating. Burial will be in Mt. Calvary Cemetery.

Denise was born on February 4, 1953, in Dubuque, Iowa, daughter of Carl and Virginia (Francois) Engling.

Denise was born and raised in Dubuque where she graduated from Senior High School, Class of 1971, and would remain a resident for her whole life. She was united in marriage to Randal L. Parsons on July 15, 1984, in Dubuque, and together they were blessed with three children. Denise was a hard worker and, with a feisty personality, left an impression on everyone who met her. She met Randal while she was working as a bartender at the Dodge House. As they began their new family, she would move on to work for Centel Cellular, Alltel, 360 Communications, US Cellular, Sprint, you name it. She was locally known as “The Cell Phone Lady.” She stated her opinion and had no qualms in what you thought about her. She spoke her piece and that was that. Her family believes this is what left such a lasting impression on many that met her. She was often known as “Momma D”, “Big Mama”, or “Mama Bear.” In her spare time, Denise enjoyed quilting, cross stitching, watching documentaries, Words with Friends, visiting with friends and family, collecting clocks and dolls, and reading factual stories or articles on the internet. Most of all, she adored her grandchildren and enjoyed spending time with them babysitting or just visiting. Those that knew her say she lovingly talked about her kids and grandkids all the time. We are deeply saddened by the loss of our mother, grandmother, sister and aunt, but know that she has gained her Heavenly wings and called home to be reunited with those that have passed previously.

Those left to cherish Denise’s memory include

her husband,
Randal Parsons Sr., Dubuque, IA;

her children,
Elizabeth (Ronald) Butler,
Chrisney (Dennis) Ricketts
and Randal (Sarah) Parsons Jr., all of Dubuque, IA;

her 7 grandchildren,
Alexandra, Lola, Lillian, Brynn, Henry, Camille and Beau;

and her siblings,
Carlyn Root, Tolleson, AZ,
Diane Cook, Dubuque, IA,
Ken (Tracy) Engling, Moline, IL,
Carl (Dianne) Engling, Dubuque, IA,
Helen DeAnda, Sioux City, IA,
Kevin Engling, Sioux City, IA,
David Engling, Sioux City, IA,
Vincent (Thao) Engling, Columbia, SC
and Allen Engling, Sioux City, IA.

Denise was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Michael Engling; her brothers-in-law, Felimon DeAnda and Robert Cook; many aunts and uncles, and her dear friend, Melvin J. Hammerand.

Denise’s family would like to thank the nurses and staff of Hospice of Dubuque, for all of their kind, compassionate and professional care of Denise and her entire family, especially Paul.

The family will thankfully receive your support through phone calls, greeting cards and memorials in Denise’s memory which may be mailed to Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa 52001, Attn. Denise Parsons Family.


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Behr Funeral Home
1491 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa
January 11th, 2021 from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Funeral service

Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
2145 JFK Road, Dubuque, Iowa
January 12th, 2021 at 10:30 AM

One condolence for Denise J. (Engling) Parsons
  1. David E. Schmitt says:

    Did not know Denise, but knew her parents , brother Carl & sister Diane.
    All great people, & her obit reminds me of her mother.
    Sympathy all around!

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