Julio Tapia Parrales

Date of Birth

Jun 19,1923

Date of Death

Sep 25,2016

Julio Tapia Parrales, age 93, of Geneva, IL, formerly of Brookfield, IL, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, September 25, 2016. He was born June 19, 1923, in El Oro, Mexico, the son of Epitacio and Ma. de los Angeles (Tapia) Parrales. Julio grew up in Mexico City, and attended local schools. He graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM). Before he graduated, he was selected to be a member of the Mexican National Soccer Team, representing Mexico in the 1948 Olympics in London, England.
Julio worked as a chemical engineer in Mexico City, where he met Christine Ibarra. They were married in 1954 and immigrated to Chicago in 1956, where Julio eventually found work at Hyre Electric, as an electrical journeyman until his retirement over thirty years later. Julio dedicated most of his free time to writing, contributing to many leading local Hispanic newspapers including Noticias and El Mañana. In 1988, Julio founded his own sports newspaper, the Spanish/English, Chicago Deportivo, which is still in publication today, on-line. Julio also contributed to his community and heritage by being a founding member of the Chicago Mexican Civic Society in the late 1960s. He was also one of the founding members who helped to lay the foundation for the Chicago Latin American Soccer Association (CLASA) which has become the largest Hispanic soccer league in the nation. In addition to the many, many honors he received during his lifetime, in 2004, he was especially proud to be inducted into the Illinois State Soccer Association Hall of Fame for his work in bringing the sport of soccer to the youth of Illinois. He was also a proud member of the IBEW Local 134 and a treasured member of the Hispanic Owned Publication and Enterprise (HOPE), as well as the National Association of Hispanic Publications.
Retirement never meant he stopped working, rather it gave him more time to pour into his other passions. His travels could fill a book and he crisscrossed the globe to numerous Olympic, World Cup, and Pan-American Games, besides covering local Chicago sports as the publisher and editor of the Chicago Deportivo. Julio was extremely proud, but always humbled and honored to be part of Olympic history. He was the oldest living Olympian in Illinois, and although he never stood on the medal stand, Julio stood proud amongst the very few who had the honor of being an Olympian for his country. He was a hardworking man, and a proud father of four children, who always valued family first. Second to his family, he valued education and community service, which he exemplified in his life and for which he was a wonderful role model. If you were in need of anything, Julio felt it his job to help, and it was a job that he never took lightly. Julio never seemed to slow down as the years went by and he was always “the life of the party” no matter where or when the party began…or ended. A man whose shadow loomed large now leaves his indelible mark on the lives of all who knew him and the world will be poorer for his absence.
He is survived by his wife, Christine (Ibarra) Parrales, his four devoted children Julie (Alfred) Cisneros, Eduardo Julio, Marco (Antoinette), and Christina (Bernie) Parrales-Gonzalez. He will be missed by his beloved grandchildren Aleksandra, Alfred Julian (fiancée Ashley), Alain, and Alonso Cisneros, and Gabriella and Julian Gonzalez; many nieces, nephews; a community of friends and business acquaintances; and one step-daughter Lilia Wichert. He is preceded in death by his parents, Epitacio and Maria de los Angeles (Tapia) Parrales, ten siblings, one step-son Raul (Joan) Parrales.
A memorial account has been established in Julio’s name. Checks may be made to “Julio Parrales Memorial” and mailed in care of Old Second, 749 Main Street, PO Box 8018, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family through the Conley Funeral Home Faceboook Page and www.conleycare.com where you can see Julio’s full life story.

Private services have already been held at Conley Funeral Home, Elburn, IL, with a public memorial service planned for a later date.

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