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Paul James Parker, 89, retired corporate executive and long-time Bastrop County rancher, passed from this life on September 9, 2016 in Austin, TX. He was born in Buda, TX to Lance and Gertrude (Costley) Parker on July 24, 1927.

Paul was employed by Southwestern Bell (AT&T) for 38 years and held management positions in Austin, Little Rock, Houston, Fort Worth and Dallas. He retired in 1983 from Southwestern Bell as a General Manager. During his career, he was actively involved in various civic and business groups, public affairs, and political organizations. He received honorary commissions from a governor of Texas as Admiral in the Texas Navy, and Texas Ambassador of Goodwill. He was a member of the Texas Society of Telephone Engineers and Telephone Pioneers of America. Following retirement, he was engaged in joint ventures, investments and ranching interests.

Paul was a third generation Master Mason, and a life member of the W. J. Nixon Masonic Lodge in Smithville. He was also a Master of the Royal Secret of the 32nd Masonic Degree of Scottish Rite and a member of the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple of Austin. He was a Noble in the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, and a member and former unit president of the Ben Hur Shrine Temple in Austin.

Besides his family and commitment to faith, a love of the outdoors, raising cattle and ranching, gun collecting and shooting, history and current events, politics, dancing, music and dabbling in the stock market were Paul's passions in life. Respected by all, he was very social, a huge flirt, charitable and generous. He set high standards for his children and grandchildren and will be sorely missed.

Paul is survived by daughter, Cynthia (Don) Dick of La Grange; three grandchildren, Paige (Todd) Reed of Houston, Heather Dick of Pearland, and Michael Dick of La Grange; two great-grandsons, Parker and Preston Cheney of Houston; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Paul was married for 71 years to his beloved wife, Mildred (Millie) who preceded him in death by just 23 days. Sadly, they were not able to spend much time together during the last year due to medical issues, but now they are together again for all eternity. Additionally, Paul is predeceased by his parents, four sisters, and one brother.

Private interment was held at Oak Hill Cemetery, Smithville. Masonic burial rites were administered by the brethren of W. J. Nixon Masonic Lodge, Smithville.