Ronald Joseph Perry Sr.
Dr. Ronald Joseph Perry Sr. passed away peacefully at Teche Regional Medical Center in Morgan City on Tuesday, June 19, 2012, after a valiant battle with illness. He was born Sept. 12, 1927, in Wilkes Barre, Penn., the son of Helen and Joseph Perry.
Instilled with an incredible work ethic, he began contributing to this world at a young age. He served proudly in the United States Navy and was a veteran of World War II. He went on to obtain his bachelor’s degree from Duquesne University, his master’s degree from the University of Scranton, and his doctoral degree from the University of Virginia.
Dr. Perry happily invested 62 years of his life as an educator. He taught at the College of William and Mary, the Hampton Institute and the University of Virginia, as well as in the Scranton School District in Pennsylvania. He eventually became a principal in the Hampton City Public Schools (Virginia) and Superintendent of Schools in the Line Mountain Schools (Pennsylvania), Prince Edward County School District (Virginia), Pascack Valley School District (New Jersey), and the Cameron County School District (Pennsylvania). While in Virginia, he contributed significantly to the changing face of education at the time by integrating the Prince Edward County schools. This work in the desegregation movement is still viewed as a model of success today.
Dr. Perry and his family moved to Louisiana 25 years ago when he accepted the position of superintendent of the St. Mary Parish School District. He rounded out his distinguished career as a professor of education at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, from which he recently retired.
Additionally, Dr. Perry was a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music and an accomplished trumpet player. He played with Stan Kenton and his orchestra during the grand days of big bands and swing, and for friends and family throughout his life. Music always made his heart sing.
Dr. Perry was a former king of the Krewe of Galatea, a member of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, and a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus. He traveled extensively and took great pleasure in embracing new people and cultures.
Dr. Perry is survived by his wife of almost 43 years, Margaret M. (Peggy) Perry; his children, Ronald J. Perry Jr. and his wife Joan, Randall J. Perry, Russell J. Perry, Ellen E. Finn and her husband Sean, and Margaret H. (Peggy) Giglio and her husband Joe; nine grandchildren; one great-grandchild and a second on the way.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Richard and Robert; his in-laws, Margaret and Thomas Hogan; and his sister-in-law, Ellen Hogan Steele.
Visitation will be held Thursday, June 21, 2012, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Hargrave Funeral Home and from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Friday, June 22, 2012, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Morgan City, followed by a Mass of Christian burial.
He will be laid to rest, after a life well lead, in Cathedral Cemetery in Scranton, Penn.
Serving as pallbearers will be Nelson B. Cortez, Joseph C. Giglio III, Sean Carpenter, Leslie Ellis, Randy Dohmann and Joey Dohmann. Honorary pallbearers will be A.J. Dohmann, Bernhardt (Bernie) Hunter, Dr. Robert Blereau, James Manuel, M.D. (Dick) Shannon III and Robert “Bob” Radtke.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Dr. Ronald J. Perry Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund at the University of Louisiana, through the UL Foundation, P.O. Box 44290, Lafayette, LA 70504; or the Sacred Heart Church Maintenance Fund, P.O. Box 632, Morgan City, LA 70381.