By Chad Koenen
Longtime New York Mills business owner and city councilman Mike Parta has passed away.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday at 11 a.m. at St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in NY Mills.
Visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Friday with a prayer service at 6:30 p.m. at St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. Visitation will resume one hour prior to the funeral service on Saturday at the church. Parta passed away on Jan. 29 at the age of 74.
Parta, who published the NY Mills Herald and several other newspapers in the area, lived in the NY Mills area for most of his life. Having “grown up” in the business, Parta returned to his hometown to work at his family’s newspaper after graduating from Concordia College in 1969. He first served as editor and photographer, and he headed up the advertising sales for the New York Mills Herald.
Over the years he and his wife Jan acquired the Perham Enterprise-Bulletin, the Wadena Pioneer Journal and the Staples World. In 2000, he sold the last of these newspapers to the Forum Communications Company. Most recently he was president of Hoot’s Sports, a marine dealership in Perham. Over the years Hoot’s won the top marketing award from Lund Boats and has always been a leader in sales.
Parta has also been active in newspaper association work. He has served as president of the Minnesota Newspaper Association, the National Newspaper Association and the National Newspaper Association Foundation. He also served on the board of directors of the Newspaper Association of America as the only non-daily member. Minnesota honored Parta with the Al McIntosh Distinguished Service to Journalism Award for his work on behalf of newspapers in Minnesota. The National Newspaper Association honored him with the Amos award for outstanding service to community newspapers nationally.
In addition, Parta has been active in his community, serving on a host of boards and committees, including nearly 30 years on the New York Mills City Council.
He was also a member of the first-ever NY Mills Hall of Fame and Wall of Fame. The first induction was held in 2020.