FAIR HAVEN - Michael D. Perry, 63, of Fair Haven, died Sunday morning, September 23, 2012, at his residence, following a long illness.
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He was born on September 16, 1949, in Rutland, the son of Thomas and Anita (Foley) Perry.
Mr. Perry graduated from the Fair Haven Union High School in 1967 and from the Castleton State College in 1970 with a teaching degree.
He married Jacki Howard on February 27, 1970.
Mr. Perry was employed for 38 years as a science teacher at the Poultney High School prior to his retiring in 2010. He also served the school as a basketball coach for several years, wining the championship in 1979.
He won many awards, including Vermont Outstanding Teacher of the Year by the University of Vermont in 1986 and in 1991, the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching in 1999, Conservation Teacher of the Year, Outstanding Biology Teacher Award in 1994 and was a recipient of the TAPESTRY Toyota Grant in 1996.
Mr. Perry was a member of the Our Lady of Seven Dolors Church and served for many years as a Eucharistic minister.
He was a charter member of the Sons of the American Legion in Fair Haven, a member of the Knights of Columbus, National Association of Biology Teachers, National Science Teachers Association, National Education Association and the Association for Presidential Awardees for Excellence in Science Education.
He loved watching football and baseball and was an avid New York Jets and Mets fan.
Mr. Perry was well-known for his Halloween costumes.
He enjoyed acting in plays. His last performance was in Grease, with the Vermont Theatre Lab last year where he acted along with his oldest grandchildren.
Mr. Perry was the program director at the Green Mountain Conservation Camp from 1977 until 1982.
He was a hunter firearms training instructor, bow hunter education instructor, certified scuba diver, official for high school football, and a master gardener through the UVM Extension Service.
Survivors include his wife, Jacki Perry of Fair Haven; a daughter, Michele Perry of Fair Haven; a son, James Perry and his wife Otelah of Windsor; three brothers, Brian Perry and his wife Trudy of Florence, Dennis Perry and his wife Sandy of Fair Haven, and Timothy Perry and his wife Deb of Bomoseen; five grandchildren, Matthew Eckler, Michaela Eckler, Reese Perry, Sydney Perry and Ryan Perry; dear friends, Greg and Laurel Knapp; several nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his parents; also by a son, Michael Dwight Perry Jr., in 1974; and a brother, Thomas G. Perry Jr., in 1990.
Friends may call from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Tuesday at the Durfee Funeral Home.
Funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Our Lady of Seven Dolors Church. Burial will follow in the St. Mary's Cemetery. A reception will be at the Castleton American Legion.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Our Lady of Seven Dolors Church, Washington Street, Fair Haven, VT 05743; or to the Friends of Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Amy Schrom, Office of Development, Hinman 7070, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center, One Medical Center Drive, Lebanon, NH 03756-0001.
Published in Rutland Herald from Sept. 24 to Sept. 25, 2012