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Harry Parker

Harry William Parker PhD

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Obituary

Dr. Harry W. Parker passed from this life on February 16, 2020. He was 87 years old and living in Houston, Texas. At the time of his death Dr. Parker was an Emeritus Professor at Texas Tech University.

Harry was born in Tulia, Texas on June 4,1932 and grew up on a farm between Tulia and Kaffir, Texas. He was the son of A D Parker, a Swisher county farmer, and his wife Effie Mae Parker. Harry attended Kaffir Grade School and graduated from Tulia High School in 1949. He then attended Texas Tech University, graduating with honors in 1953 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering. Harry became “Dr. Parker” after completing his graduate work at Northwestern University where he received a PhD in Chemical Engineering in 1956.

Harry enjoyed a distinguished career as a Chemical Engineer. His first work was in industry, where he worked in the Research Division for Phillips Petroleum Company in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Harry’s work at Phillips focused on enhancing oil recovery, and he received more than 80 patents for his inventions in the field of oil recovery. In 1970 Harry moved to Lubbock, Texas to join the engineering faculty at Texas Tech University as an Associate and then Full Professor of Chemical Engineering. While serving as a professor at Texas Tech, Harry went on leave twice to work with both the United States Department of Energy and Department of Agriculture. He retired from engineering in 2004.

Harry married Phyllis Ann Spidy on July 4, 1954. They had two sons, Andrew David, born in 1957, and Kevin Philip born in 1960. Harry and Phyllis raised their sons in Bartlesville and Lubbock, and Harry also encouraged and supported Phyllis’s return to University in the 1970s to obtain a degree in Interior Design. After retiring, Harry and Phyllis moved to Lake Jackson, Texas to be near to their sons and grandchildren. He moved to Houston in 2016.

Harry was preceded in death by his wife Phyllis Parker (2011) and his son, the Rev. Andrew Parker (2018). He is survived by his sister Lois Grundy, his son Kevin Parker, his daughters-in-law the Rev. Elizabeth Parker and Renee Parker, his grandchildren, William Parker, Benjamin Parker and Caleb Parker (by Andrew), and Amy Parker and James Parker (by Kevin). Harry is also survived by his granddaughter-in-law Qingzi Parker and his great granddaughter, Cordelia Parker.

Dr. Parker’s ashes will be laid to rest at the cinerarium of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Lake Jackson.
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