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Frank Perry, Jr. - Educator and Athlete
Frank Perry, Jr. (82) passed away peacefully on Monday, September 23, 2013 at Brookwood Retirement Community. Beloved Husband of Joanna Wallace Perry for 52 years; Devoted Father of Jon Clayton Perry and Jana Franae Perry-Henry; Loving Grandfather of Jacob and Joanna Henry; and Admired Father-In-Law of Mark Henry. Mr. Perry was born in Dry Branch, Georgia and was the son of Frank and Lois Twyman Perry, who preceded him in death, and the brother of Quincey P. Davis, Lois P. Graham (departed), Anna B. Perry (departed), Treva P. Thompson (departed) and Patricia P. McDowell; lifelong friend of William Dupree; and cousin and uncle to a host of other family members. After graduating from Lockland Wayne High School, Perry attended Central State University on athletic scholarship where he played Center and Linebacker. Perry captained the defense his last two years and called the signals for his final three seasons and was inducted into Central State University's Marauder Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989. Perry was also a baseball catcher (drafted by the Cincinnati Reds) and was runner-up in the Olympic Boxing Trials in 1952 at 175 pounds, and won the National AAU Championship in 1953. After boxing professionally for a few years, Perry decided to retire from boxing and take a position with the Cincinnati Recreation Department where he oversaw the Schwartz Community Center. While working at the center, he earned a Master of Science in Education Administration from Xavier University in 1956, and was honorably discharged as a Captain from the United States Army. In 1961 Perry began his teaching career at Camp Washington Elementary School where he met his wife Joanna Wallace Perry. Mr. Perry taught at Mt. Airy and Taft Elementary before becoming an assistant principal at Hoffman Elementary School. In 1971, Perry became the principal of Rockdale Elementary School where he spent the next 21 years leading, teaching and loving the children of the Avondale Community. In 2005, the new media center at the Rockdale Academy was dedicated and named the "Frank Perry, Jr. Resource Center". Frank Perry, Jr. was a proud lifetime member of Phi Epsilon Kappa and a founding member of La Amicas Ebone Dozine and a member of the Cincinnati School Masters. Mr. Perry and his wife Joanna have not only positively impacted the communities where they have lived and worked but most importantly, have had a major influence on their children's lives as well. Their son Jon, was a four year starter and served as captain for two years on the Bluffton College Men's Basketball Team. After graduating from college, Jon carried his love of the sport on to coach the Cincinnati Junior Tar Heels to 5 United States Jr. Championships in Girls Basketball and is currently a seasoned teacher with the Indian Hill Exempted Village School District. Their daughter, Jana attended West Virginia University on full athletic scholarship where she served as captain of the Women's Gymnastics team for two years, was named "Gymnast of the Year" of the Atlantic Ten Conference her senior year and was named on the 1992 Academic All-America Team. After graduating Magna Cum Laude from WVU, Jana earned a Master of Science Degree in Curriculum & Instruction from Teachers College, Columbia University. Subsequent to teaching in the Cincinnati Public School System for three years, Jana accepted a position at the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball (MLB) where she worked in Educational Programming and Community Affairs before retiring and marrying former two-time Olympic Weightlifter and WWE Superstar Mark Henry. Services will be held on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at Gwen Mooney Funeral Home, 4389 Spring Grove Avenue at 1:30 pm. Condolences may be sent to 1557 Williamson Drive Cincinnati, Ohio 45240.
Published in The Cincinnati Enquirer on Sept. 27, 2013