NEW PORT RICHEY — For about two decades, Dave Parris provided a spark as a leader of the Rotary Club of New Port Richey.
The Rotary Pavilion stands as a testament to his vision to build the community events center at the Concourse, on State Road 52 a bit west of Suncoast Parkway.
He and wife Carol appeared at many functions together. He got to see his daughter Kara inducted as a Rotary member.
Chasco Fiesta bestowed on him the King Pithla crown this spring. In May, Rotary International conferred one of its highest honors, Service Above Self recognition. In June, West Pasco Chamber of Commerce named Parris its Eminent Pioneer for 2014.
These and a flood of other memories could gush forth as people remember the late Parris at a memorial service on Saturday, Aug. 16. The remembrance starts at 11 a.m. at Generations Church, 1540 Little Road, Trinity.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Celebration of Lights and Santa Is Real. Mail donations to: Santa is Real Inc, P.O. Box 1858, Port Richey FL 34673.
At age 62, Parris died on Aug. 6 at home, surrounded by family that included son Michael, friends report.
Several tears flowed later that same day at an emotionally charged luncheon meeting of the New Port Richey Rotary Club, members said. President Mike Beam spoke about what Parris meant to club members and how much he did for the club and community alike.
The Rev. Guy Sanders, a New Port Richey Rotary member and pastor of First Baptist Church-New Port Richey, recalled the last few days of spending time with Dave and his family. He shared a prayer with the club that he had spoken to Parris the day before Parris’ death.
Parris joined NPR Rotary in 1995 and became president in 2005. He is a three-time recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow, which is awarded by his club based on merit.
In May, Rotary International President Ron D. Burton penned a letter about Parris’ example. “Through your actions, you have demonstrated the ideals of Rotary, and your example inspires all Rotarians to live our motto Service Above Self,” the letter reads in part.
Parris, a commercial real estate broker with the Krauss Organization, was nominated by Good Samaritan Health Clinic to be crowned King Pithla at the annual Coronation Ball in March by the Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind.
Besides Rotary and the Good Samaritan Clinic, Parris also got involved with Rotary Camp Florida, Rotary International, the Missing and Abducted Children Team, Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, Pasco County School District ABC Program, Leadership Pasco, West Pasco Board of Realtors, Florida Association of Realtors, National Association of Realtors, and West Pasco Chamber of Commerce.
He received Rotary Rookie of the Year in 1997 and Rotarian of the Year in 1999, along with numerous Paul Harris Fellow honors. Other honors include Rotary President of the Year District 6950 in 2005, Rotary International’s Four Avenues of Service Award in 2010, and Rotary’s Governor Excellence Award in 2012. He received an Outstanding Citizen Award in 2010.