Joe Parypa, noted auctioneer and co-owner of the Chehalis Livestock Market in southwest Washington, died Feb. 21 at a Tacoma hospital, 12 days after he was struck by a bull. He was 63.
“Joe was as honest as the day was long,” said Brenda Balmelli, whose husband, Dave, bought the Chehalis market with Parypa in 1986. “I’m a better person for getting to work with him for 20 years, and David is, too, for sharing an office with him for 35 years.”
Parypa died at St. Joseph Medical Center. He also had Parkinson’s disease and was unable to recover from the internal injuries he suffered, Balmelli said.
Parypa was World Reserve Grand Champion Auctioneer in 1987. “He felt his best on the auctioneer’s block,” Balmelli said.
Livestock hauler Steve McCombs of Satsop said he met Parypa more than 40 years ago.
“He was a young whippersnapper auctioneer, and I was a young whippersnapper livestock hauler,” he said. “He was a good man.”
McCombs said Parypa was honest about the quality of cattle brought to his market, even if the owner didn’t want to hear it.
“He didn’t make everybody happy, but he wasn’t in that business,” McCombs said. “You may not like it, but he’d tell you the truth.”
Rochester dairy farmer Hank Doelman said Parypa drew out fair bids for cattle.
“He’d say, ‘Don’t quit now! We’re just getting started!’” Doelman said. “He knew when to push and when to fold. ... Even if the prices were low, it was a competitive bid.
“His voice, his rhythm, you got used to it. It was part of the attraction to go to listen to him sell,” Doelman said. “Everything was legitimate, all honest.”
Parypa graduated from Centralia High School. He is survived by his wife, Ellen; son, Aaron; daughter, Katie Parypa-Neva; and granddaughter, Sophie Neva.
There will be a public service 1 p.m. Sunday, March 17, at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound.