OBITUARY

David Thomas Parry

April 22, 1933July 13, 2020

David Thomas Parry

Long-time DC resident and recent Bethesdan, David T. Parry died July 13 following a short illness. He had recently celebrated his 87th birthday and 60th anniversary with wife Susan Myers Parry. He and Susan were partners in Academic Travel Abroad, a cultural tour operator, from 1973 until the company was sold in 2012 to three seasoned members of the ATA team.

Born in Seattle on April 22, 1933, David moved at age 6 with his parents George Stanley Parry and Elizabeth (Jones) Parry to the San Francisco Bay area where he grew up. His older sister, Margaret, and younger brother, Stan, predeceased him. He is survived by Susan, sons Thomas (Christina Whitcomb) Parry (Washington, DC) and Joseph (Emily Pierce) Parry (Kensington, MD), and grandchildren Georgia and Evan Parry.

David attended Piedmont High School (Piedmont, CA) and received his BA from Pacific University (Forest Grove, OR) in 1955. Following college, he served in the Army in Baumholder, Germany. On his return to the States, David moved to Washington, DC, where he attended American University while working for both House and Senate members of Congress. He received his MA in political science from AU in 1965. David then worked for the Washington Center for Metropolitan Studies and directed American University’s summer school before acquiring Academic Travel Abroad.

From 1981 to 2017, David enjoyed leading an annual hiking tour exploring the Alps. He was active in several railroad history societies, including the Lexington Group and the DC Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. He was a member of Heidelberg International, the University Club of Washington, and American Battlefield Trust.

His friends and family will remember his booming, boisterous laugh and his dry sense of humor. A memorial service is planned for a later date. Remembrances may be shared at www.dignitymemorial.com. In lieu of flowers, gifts of support may be made to the David T. Parry Founders Scholarship for study abroad, care of the Fund for Education Abroad at https://fundforeducationabroad.org/david-t-parry-founders-scholarship.

Memories

David Thomas Parry

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Jeffrey Parry

October 29, 2020

David was my father Stan's older brother but I only got to see him during rare family reunions or when he would visit us in California. His looks and manners reminded me of my father and my grandfather George as did the laugh. As I worked in the travel industry (hostelling) I knew I wanted to hike with Dave on one of his famous European Alps trips and I was lucky enough to do so in Austria for two weeks. You really could see his gift for leadership but it was his stories and fantastic memory of our family that really fascinated me. There was still much I wanted to know. I credit him for bringing my love of old VW's into our family from his Army days in Germany. He would send me articles about old trains in California too. When I lost my father, he was a great solace to me personally and gave me some sound advice on how to navigate the world on my own. I am forever grateful for his wisdom and love. Here is a photo of his family and ours in the early 70's somewhere near Sacramento, California, probably taken by my Grandfather George Parry.

Jean Hayes

September 7, 2020

I loved it during meetings when David would say: “Now, just among us girls...”
He believed in retirement contributions and did his best to explain it to us 20-30 year olds...He would make us repeat: COMPOUND INTEREST OVER TIME!!! Thank you for that, David, as I heeded your advice and am a happy retirée! You were a fun businessman and a “father figure” to many of “us girls”...May you rest in peace.

Amy Kotkin

August 27, 2020

Dave was much more to me than an esteemed business partner. He was a mentor who always knew that it made good sense to invest in his clients' education. Dave introduced me to so many exciting destinations -- China, Russia, Germany, Switzerland and France among them. I have indelible memories of all the travel we did together with Susan and his staff, always in search of the best experiences we could weave into our tour offerings. Each research trip was enriched with his incredible, in-depth knowledge of history and culture. His insights into what made the travel industry tick were often hilarious and always appreciated, as was the example he set in dealing respectfully with his suppliers abroad. Dave was also a terrific judge of character. You need look no further than the leadership of ATA for proof of that! After I retired from Smithsonian Journeys, I was so pleased to have have another opportunity to work with Dave and company on the Fund for Education Abroad galas. What a great idea, and what a terrific capstone to his lasting legacy. He will be greatly missed, but shines as an example of a life lived with gusto and generosity. - Amy Kotkin

Susqn Parry

August 26, 2020

Dave's last illness came on so suddenly and was so short, he really didn't have time to say farewell to family, friends, co-workers, etc. So, here he is in 2012 waving good-bye to everyone before setting off to Switzerland on a hike. Let this be his good-bye.

Joseph Parry

July 28, 2020

Joseph Parry

July 28, 2020

Naps were to Dave Parry one of the most essential things. Here’s a pic of him catching a quick nap.

Joseph Parry

July 27, 2020

Joseph Parry

July 27, 2020

Joseph Parry

July 27, 2020

Henry 'Budd" Kass

July 27, 2020

I was really shocked to hear of Dave's death. The last I had heard he was still hiking in Northern Italy. His death has brought back a flood of memories of a group of 20 somethings slogging their way through grad school at AU. Dave was my roommate for a time and earlier a resident with me at the informal AU men's residence on G St. lovingly call the Pig Pen. I owe Dave a lot. A little older and much wiser, Dave was not only a friend but a wise counselor. But my greatest debt to him was the fact he introduced me to my future wife. I had just broken up with a girl and as idiots of 24 will do, I had sworn off serious relationships 'forever'. Dave didn't say anything at the time but at the beginning of the Fall Semester he casually mentioned that the full time grad program had admitted two young women. In an equally off handed manner he said they would be looking in at the Pig Pen that noon and would I like to meet them. Not surprisingly, despite my earlier resolution, I said yes.
Well, Dave introduced me to both women, but from the start I only had eyes for one of them, a lovely brunette from Iowa. Afterward Dave urged me to ask her out on a date. Sad to say it took a couple of months to screw up the courage to do that but finally I did and 60 years later we are still together.
Dave's was a life well lived. I shall always remember him as a friend and mentor. Rest in peace old friend.
Budd

FROM THE FAMILY