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Captain John Dickson (Dick) HOUSE,
U.S NAVY RESERVE (Ret.)
He was born at home, 1408 Clarksville Street, in Paris, Texas, on Jan. 13, 1920, to John Devericks House Jr. and Loucile Dickson House. He was a retired Navy captain, and a businessman in Paris of 25 years as owner and founder of Dick House’s Good Housekeeping Shoppe in Williamsburg Shopping Center.
He passed away Saturday, March 16, at age 93 at The Home Place Assisted Living in Paris. Visitation with friends will be at Fry and Gibbs Funeral Home from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Carl Haggard and family members will conduct the services at Fry and Gibbs funeral home at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, 2013, with military interment to follow at Evergreen Cemetery in Paris.
Twice he answered his country’s call to active duty with the U.S. Navy – once in World War II and again during the Korean War from 1951 to 1953. He left civilian life and a business career to enlist in the Navy in January of 1942.
During his naval career he received Midshipman training at Columbia University in New York in January of 1942 and was commissioned as an Ensign there upon graduation in October of the same year. He was then sent to shipboard active duty in the South Pacific to report to the Destroyer USS Farragut.
From 1942 to 1946, Captain House served his country in the Pacific area as a gunnery officer aboard the destroyer USS Farragut and the cruiser USS Vicksburg. He participated in 17 major naval bombardments and landings against the Japanese while earning nine campaign service and award ribbons with 10 battle stars.
On Jan. 18, 1946, he married Betty Carlisle Sluder, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. G. Sluder of Paris, in a formal ceremony at the First Presbyterian Church in Paris.
Recalled to active duty in January of 1951 by the U. S. Navy during the Korean War, he served two more years with a Naval air squadron attached to the Pacific Fleet. After his second discharge in 1946, he maintained his association with Naval Reserve units at the Dallas Naval Air Statio and the local Naval Reserve company at Paris Junior College that he organized and initially commanded.
In July of 1963, he was selected by the Navy for promotion from the rank of Commander to the rank of Captain. In January of 1980, he was placed on the Navy’s retired list after completing 23 years of creditable service.
In September of 1956, he and his wife, Betty, founded “Dick House’s Good Housekeeping Shoppe” specializing in top brand appliances and gift wares. For 25 years he operated the store, which in 1974 won the “Texas Appliance Retailer of the Year” award.
His education began with kindergarten at Mrs. Woodson’s School and Fourth Ward Elementary School. Later, in 1937, he graduated with honors from Paris High School and lettered on the basketball, track, and golf teams.
He received an Associate of Arts degree in 1939 from Paris Junior College and at graduation was awarded the Distinguished Service Cup. He served as business manager of the 1939 Galleon yearbook and vice president of his sophomore class. He was captain of the 1939 PJC basketball team and a member of the district championship golf team and track team. In 1994, he and the 1939 basketball team he captained were inducted into the PJC Hall of Fame.
He received his BBA degree in 1941 and was an honor graduate of the University of Texas business school in Austin. While there, he was inducted into Delta Sigma Pi, a Business Fraternity. In 1949, he served as president of the Lamar County Chapter of the Texas Ex-Students Association and continued until his death to be an active supporter of the university’s activities.
He served as president of the Paris Junior College Ex-Student’s Association; vice president of the PJC board of regents, which he served for six years; and chairman of the building committee during the college’s expansion in the early 1960s.
House was a member of the Paris Rotary Club with 42 years of perfect attendance and served in most of the club offices. He was the first Rotary District 5830 Secretary as well as chairing several district and Paris Rotary Club committees. In 1976, he was selected by the Paris club as a Paul Harris Fellow, the local Rotary club’s highest honor.
Other civic activities he enjoyed were the American Legion, the VFW, and the 2:30 Coffee Club. He had former service to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, United Way, Lamar County Chamber of Commerce board of directors, and the Lamar Avenue Church of Christ, where he taught Sunday school for a number of years. He was a proud “Friend of Bill W.” for 32 years and spent countless hours mentoring others. Many admired him for his devotion and adherence to the program.
After his retirement in 1982 from his store, he enjoyed learning about computers, playing golf, and writing about his naval battles and self-help tools he learned in life. His books on naval experiences are titled “House On The Water” and “Action Starboard.” Two books he wrote on self-help were “Elephants Don’t Bite” and “12 Steps To A Happy And Successful Life.” All are in the City of Paris and PJC libraries.
He greatly loved his family and friends he met along the way. He was preceded in death by his mother and father Mr. and Mrs. John D. House, Jr.; a sister, Lou Ann Milliken of Paris and her husband Russell Milliken; his wife, Betty Sluder House; and a grandson, Stephen Jeffrey Scott.
Among his survivors are his children: Marilou House Maxwell and husband Jim of Dallas; John Sluder House of Paris; and Dicksie Ann House Walker and husband Rick of Bullard.
Other survivors include five grandchildren: Will Walker and wife Andrea of Tulsa, Okla.; Natalie Scott Gradke and husband Regan of Phoenix, Ariz.; Erica House Brasseux and husband Eric of Katy, Texas; Kristina House Courson and husband Roger of Paris; and John David House of Paris.
He is survived by 11 great-grandchildren Breanna Courson, Jake Gradke, Haven Gradke, Chloe Gradke, Jackson Brasseux, Connor Brasseux, Presley Brasseux, Aila Walker, Cyra Walker, Carly Scott, and Kagen Caldwell.
Also surviving are two nieces and a nephew.
Online condolences may be made to the House family by visiting www.fry-gibbs.com.