Lucky, lucky Leo Albert Perry, cast his final line on Sunday, August 22, 2021 in Wallingford Connecticut. Born in Milbury, Massachusetts on November 14, 1931 to Albert and Marie Elvina (Arsenault), Perry moved to the Village of Wickford, Rhode Island when very young. Leo was predeceased by his wife of 49 years, Paula (Moran), infant son, Joseph, sister Claire Perry, nephew Robert Perry, Jr, brother-in-law Raymond Puhl and sister-in-law Patricia Moran. Most recently and way before his time, he lost his long-time anchor in life and number one partner in everything fishing and hunting, William "Billy" Brown.
Leo is survived by his daughter, Suzanne, "Suzie" and her husband, Michael Simpson; their children Jessie, "The Jess", Piper (Kyle), and "Double Trouble", Patrick and Annie Simpson. He is also survived by sister Mary Irene Puhl of Maryland, brother Robert Perry (Rosemary, aka, "His Rosie"), of Arizona; sister Joan Ward (George), of Rhode Island and his brother from another mother, brother-in-law, James "Jay" Moran, of Massachusetts. Leo is also survived by many beloved nieces and nephews; his youngest great-nieces, (aka, his "three Rhode Island girls", Madalyn, Haleigh and Princess Aiofe), were his newest joys. Special mention to his good friends (and their wives): Bob and Katie Tessetore and Ray and Lucy Erickson. They were a comfort; true and dear friends, literally to the end.
In addition to his biological family, Leo will be missed by the friends and neighbors he and Paula gathered during their lifetime - The Cronan, Reynolds, Hucul and Acker families - all Orchard Heights originals. His life membership with the Wallingford Rod & Gun Club gave him great joy. A proud Veteran, he enlisted at 17 and was a proud veteran of the Korean Conflict, serving on, according to him, the best ship in the Navy, the Hornet. Never did he pass a Veteran without thanking them for their service. In his eighties, he joined the American Legion and proudly wore the Blue Blazer and Cap. Right before his 88th birthday, he traveled with Suzie, Patrick, Jay and Catherine to Washington D.C. for Veterans Day. He visited all of the memorials and monuments and spoke of how much it meant to him to be there and see it one last time.
After his 4 years serving in the Navy, he returned to Rhode Island and attended the Rhode Island School of Electronics. He was hired by Harvey Picker himself in 1956 to fix his x-ray machines... he retired 45 years later. He helped facilitate the advent of the digital imaging technology revolution, serving through the birth of Ultra Sound, MRI and CAT Scan with Picker International. He was a proud member of I.B.E.W., New York Local #3. A member of Our Lady of Fatima Church since 1961, he was the original Bingo Master of the annual carnival.
Leo spent his retirement years traveling with Paula; always fitting in yearly hunting and fishing travels with Billy, Jack, Bob and Ray. Hunting and fishing trips with his friends, especially when joined by his brother Bob, were his most treasured memories. First and foremost, he was "the Papa" to his grandchildren. He attended every award ceremony, karate grading, concert, musical production and band competition. He helped build musical sets, frequently donating the props for the productions at Sheehan High School. Especially when "antlers" were called for in "all of" the decorating!
While suffering from memory loss later in his life, Leo never forgot his friends, family, (including the dogs!) and those that cared for him. His time at Masonic was blessed with Jane, Loren, Amelia, Miguel and Grant. He may have forgotten a conversation, or an event, but he remembered, as Paula use to say, just what was important to him! He kept his signature sense of humor, his curiosity, his fantastic appetite and his love of conversation. He was a character, always a gentleman and well loved by all!
Visiting hours will be from 4 - 7 p.m., Friday, August 27, 2021 at Wallingford Funeral Home, 809 North Main Street Extension, Wallingford. Funeral services will be held Saturday, August 28 at 8 a.m. from the Wallingford Funeral Home; the funeral cortege will proceed to Our Lady of Fatima Church where during a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9 a.m. Interment will be on Saturday Sept. 4 at The Rhode Island Veterans' Cemetery, Exeter, Rhode Island at 11:30 a.m. Memorial donations in Leo's memory would be appreciated by: The Mark T. Sheehan Music Department, In honor of LEO PERRY, c/o Paige Sperry, 142 Hope Hill Road, Wallingford CT 06492. www.wallingfordfh.com.
Published by Southern Rhode Island Newspapers from Aug. 26 to Sep. 3, 2021.