Harold Parfitt

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Harold Robert Parfitt
17th Governor of the Panama Canal Zone
In office
Preceded by David Stuart Parker
Succeeded by Office abolished
Personal details
Born (1921-08-06)August 6, 1921
Coaldale, Pennsylvania
Died May 21, 2006(2006-05-21) (aged 84)
Dallas, Texas
Spouse(s) Patricia Rose Scully (m. 1955; his death 2006)
Education United States Military Academy
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Command and General Staff College
Canadian National Defense College

Major General Harold Robert Parfitt (August 6, 1921 – May 21, 2006), was Governor of the Panama Canal Zone from 1975 to 1979.[1]


He was born in Coaldale, Pennsylvania on August 6, 1921 to William Parfitt and Elizabeth Patterson.[2]

He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1943; graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1948; graduated from the Command and General Staff College in 1955; Canadian National Defense College in 1962; and from an advanced management program at Harvard in 1967. He married Patricia Rose Scully on June 4, 1955.[2]

Parfitt was commissioned second lieutenant of the United States Army in 1943; advanced through the ranks to major general in 1971. He served as commanding general, United States Army Engineer Center/Commandant, United States Engineer School at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, from late 1973 to March 1975.[2]

He was Deputy, and later District Engineer of the Engineer Division, South Atlantic, in Jacksonville, Florida, from August 1962 to May 1965. In June 1965, he became lieutenant governor of the Canal Zone and vice president of the Panama Canal Company, serving until September 1968.[2]

From December 1969 to August 1973, he was division engineer, U.S. Army Engineer Division, Southwest, Dallas, Texas. Parfitt was commanding officer of the 20th Engineer Brigade in Vietnam from November 1968 to November 1969.[2]

Parfitt was appointed as Governor of the Panama Canal Zone on April 1, 1975, and served in that position until September 30, 1979. He was the last U.S. governor of this region, as the post was abolished and replaced with the Panama Canal Commission.[2]

Parfitt died on May 21, 2006 in Dallas, Texas. Interment was at Arlington National Cemetery.[2]


He is the father of Karen Hughes, who was a close advisor to president George W. Bush.[2]


Preceded by
David Stuart Parker
Governor of Panama Canal Zone
Succeeded by
Post Abolished