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Porter P. Parris

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PORTER P. PARRIS, born on August 7, 1917, passed on to the Lord on May 31, 2009. Born near Gilliland, Texas, on his parents' farm, Porter was the youngest of five children. His family moved to Denton when he was seven. After high school went to Lubbock and enrolled at Texas Tech College and joined ATO. After receiving his B.A. he went to work at the Lubbock Hilton. Shortly thereafter he was promoted to the front desk, became front office manager, then assistant manager, and then moved in to the hotel as resident manager. He married his college sweetheart, Mary Ross Edwards, the daughter of the mayor of Lubbock. Together they had three sons; Porter born in Lubbock, Thomas born in El Paso, and Robert born in Dayton, Ohio. He enlisted in the Army in 1943 and served for two years, earning a purple heart. His career with Hilton spanned 50 years. As General Manager, Managing Director, and Regional Senior Vice President, he operated numerous hotels including The El Paso Hilton, The Conrad Hilton, The Palmer House, The Plaza in New York and The Shamrock Hilton. Parris was long involved in the American Hotel and Motel Association, and in 1979 was elected President. He retired as Senior Vice President and Special Assistant to Barron Hilton in Washington, D.C., and concurrently was Chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee of AH&MA. He was a past president of the Houston Hotel Association, the Texas Hotel Association, the Chicago Hotel Association, and the Illinois Hotel Association, and was a member of the Tavern Club of New York. Additionally, the honor of Distinguished Alumnus was conferred on him by Texas Tech. He enjoyed his retirement in Houston, which he considered his home base because of the numerous good friends there. He was long-time member of River Oaks Country Club and had a special fondness for the wonderful staff there. He had much fun in Allegro and other social organizations. He was congenial, fun, kind and generous, and loved to travel. His inviting and gregarious personality, wonderful sense of humor, and his excellent singing voice made him a popular person in the many cities in which he lived. He will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him. Porter is survived by his two sons; Porter and his wife Lou, and Thomas and his wife Billie Sue; grandchildren Samantha Ross Eagle, Keith McAuliffe, Barry McAuliffe; and several great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 3:00pm on Thursday, June 11, at Christ Church Cathedral, 1117 Texas Avenue in Houston, where the Rev. Lucrecia Littlejohn, Canon Pastor, will officiate. After the memorial service a reception will be held in the Foyer of the Ballroom of the River Oaks Country Club, 1600 River Oaks Boulevard. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in Porter's name be directed to Christ Church Cathedral, 1117 Texas Avenue, Houston, TX 77002, or Texas Tech University, P.O. Box 41081, Lubbock, TX 79409-1081, or to the charity of one's choice.

Published in Houston Chronicle from June 7 to June 9, 2009
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