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Joseph Lamar Parrish, Jr.

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JOSEPH LAMAR PARRISH, JR. born October 18, 1919 in Bristol, Virginia, son of Joseph Lamar Parrish, Sr. and Juliette Wood Parrish; died July 6, 2010 in Austin Texas, with his loving wife at his side. He was a devoted, kind and loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He is survived by his wife of almost 60 years, Grace Winter Parrish of Austin; 4 children: Joanne Parrish Flynn of Austin, Joseph L. Parrish III (Jody) and Jean Banks of Laguna Beach, CA, William M. Parrish (Bill) and wife Margaret of Austin, and Charles S. Parrish (Chuck) and wife Anne of San Antonio; 13 grandchildren: Kristine Alexander and husband John of Gainesville, GA, Suzanne Flynn of Houston, Mike Flynn of Austin, John Flynn of Austin, Jody Parrish of Houston, McCall Parrish of Grapevine, Will Parrish of San Marcos, Katherine Parrish, Caroline Parrish, Mary Margaret Parrish and Anna Christine Parrish of Austin; Cecile Parrish and Gray Parrish of San Antonio; and 4 great-grandchildren: Thomas, Jack, Matthew and Abby Alexander of Gainesville, GA.

Joe Parrish will be remembered as a man of commitment, duty, humility, integrity and love. He graduated with honors and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia in 1941, where he lettered in football and basketball. He served our country in World War II, entering the Army as a Second Lieutenant, Field Artillery in 1941. He received numerous battlefield commendations in his role as an intelligence, artillery and infantry officer during World War II, including 3 Asiatic-Pacific Campaign ribbons for participation in the Philippine Island and New Guinea campaigns and amphibious assault in conjunction with the Luzon campaign. He also received a Bronze Star Medal and an Oak Leaf Cluster for his meritorious actions in directing artillery fire during the battle in Luzon, Philippines from February to April, 1945. He retired in 1946, having attained the rank of Major. He had the love, admiration and respect of the troops he led in battle. The poem the soldiers under his command wrote about him remains a cherished memory.

After the war, he received an MBA from Harvard Business School, before beginning his distinguished 37 year career at Tennessee Gas Transmission Company (Tenneco) in Houston, where he held positions of increasing responsibility. He was integral in constructing and operating the first natural gas pipeline from Texas to New England. In 1955, Joe went to Toronto, Canada to serve as Chief Engineer during the initial construction of the TransCanada Pipeline from Montreal to Calgary, returning to Houston in 1958. He ultimately was named President of Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, Midwestern Gas and Channel Industries. In 1972, he was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Tennessee Gas Transmission Company where he was responsible for four pipeline systems: Tennessee Gas, Midwestern Gas, East Tennessee Natural Gas and Channel Industries. He held that position until his retirement from Tenneco in 1984. In addition, he served as Chairman of the Southern Gas Association and on the boards of the American Gas Association and the Independent Natural Gas Association, as well as being a director of several other outside companies. Joe was widely admired and respected in the companies he served and throughout the industry, not only for his leadership and judgment, but for the kindness, compassion and respect he showed for all he met.

While Joe will be missed by all those who knew and loved him, we take comfort in the knowledge that he is with God. And, we dedicate the balance of our time on this Earth to following his example of a life of character, well-lived.

A Memorial Service will be held at All Saints Episcopal Church, 209 W 27th St. Austin, TX on July 29, 2010 at 2 pm with a reception following at Querencia, 2500 Barton Creek Blvd. Austin, TX 78735. Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. In lieu of flowers, for those who so desire, charitable contributions may be made towards a memorial stained glass window at Querencia’s new chapel in Austin, Texas c/o Ross Dickman at Querencia’s address listed above.

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Arlington National Cemetery