Robbie Ray Parsons deVries

December 1, 1929December 2, 2018

Robbie Ray Parsons deVries passed away peacefully on Sunday, the 2nd of December 2018.

Robbie was born on the 11th of September 1929, in Idabel, Oklahoma, to Jessie and General Forest Parsons, Sr. She grew up in Idabel and left to attend Oklahoma State University where she earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration.

After college, Robbie moved to Houston and was employed at Shell Oil Company. There she met Douwe deVries who would become her husband. They were married in the chapel at First Presbyterian Church in 1952. They moved several times during their early years with Shell and finally settled in Houston. Douwe was a Registered Professional Engineer who was a recipient of the ASME Holley Award in the field of offshore drilling. They have two children: Jessica deVries Kij and Dr. Peter deVries.

Robbie was a goal oriented, very energetic person who did not rest until the task at hand was completed. She had the ability to reach out, gather together diverse people and to create a common bond. Her hosting and hospitality attributes were unsurpassed, serving her well as she and Douwe hosted everyone from boy scouts to international dignitaries.

Robbie was an accomplished artist having had one of her paintings hang in the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. She appreciated and collected works of art which filled her home. She also loved classical music and great literature. These interests lead her to give her time and talents to The Houston Symphony as a fundraiser, The Houston Museum of Fine Arts as a lecture docent, The Opera Guild and numerous libraries. She served on the Cultural Arts Council of Houston as well as the Houston Association of Film and Television board.

Robbie took her civic duty very seriously serving on the Grand Jury and becoming a Harris County Grand Jury Commissioner. She was a founding member of the Baker Institute Roundtable dedicated to practicing public policy. She and Douwe headed up the Houston-Baku Sister Cities Association promoting cultural and political unity.

Robbie had a genuine interest in international missions. She was an international consultant to Habitat for Humanity International with focus on Egypt. She led a team to Turkmenistan, Turkey, on an environmental mission on water management. Robbie was a member of the China International Cultural Association fostering cultural relations and made several trips to China.

Honors include: Honorary Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma, The Houston Symphony Silver award, Boy Scouts of America Award of Merit, U.S. – China Peoples Friendship Award, Cultural Ambassador to China, U.S. State Department office of Foreign Missions, and Harris County Deputy Sherriff.

Robbie is predeceased by her parents; her husband, Douwe deVries; her brothers, Rusty Parsons and Bernie Parsons. Left to celebrate her memory are daughter, Jessica deVries Kij and husband Jim of Sugar Land; son, Dr. Peter deVries of Houston; granddaughter, Kristen Kij Hendricks and husband Mark of Pflugerville; great-grandson, Hayes Hendricks of Pflugerville: brother, General Forest Parsons, Jr. of Idabel, Oklahoma; and several nieces and nephews.

A memorial service is to be conducted at half-past nine o’clock in the morning on Thursday, the 13th of December, in the sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church, 5300 Main Street in Houston, where the Rev. Dr. Andrew Stepp will officiate.

Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family during a reception to be held in the nearby living room.

In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests with gratitude that memorial contributions be directed to Habitat for Humanity, 322 W. Lamar St.; Americas, GA 31709; to Boy Scouts of America, 1325 W. Walnut Hill. Ln, Irving, TX 75015-2079; or to the Alzheimer’s Association, 322 Eighth Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10001.


  • Memorial Service Thursday, December 13, 2018

Robbie Ray Parsons deVries

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Simone Brown

December 11, 2018

Ms. Robbie,
We all loved and miss you so much. Your class and intelligence was only unsurpassed by your lovely singing voice. We sang "Amazing Grace and the Star Spangled Banner" in remembrance of you. Rest now, and Peace for your Love ones and Friends in this time. Love your "801" Family

Gwendolyn Mabray

December 7, 2018

Ms. Robbie, you will be missed. I loved the way she spoke her truth. Always a lady for sure. A very interesting person to know. Seeing her always brought smiles to me. She will truly be missed by all who were fortunate enough to know her.

Gwendolyn Mabray
Former Activity Director, where she lived.