Ronald Ray "Ronnie" Perry (12/7/1946 - 6/1/2017)

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Born: Dec. 7, 1946

Passed: June 1, 2017

Memorial services for Ronald Ray "Ronnie" Perry of Tyler, 70, are scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, June 24 at First Presbyterian Church in Tyler, with the Revs. Stuart Baskin and David Schaefers presiding under direction of Tyler Memorial Funeral Home. A reception for family and friends immediately will follow in the church's Fellowship Hall.

Mr. Perry went home to his Lord and his wife of 48 years on Thursday, June 1, surrounded by his family and friends.

Ronnie was born Dec. 7, 1946 in Athens to Raymond Lee Perry and Sue Albright Perry, the second of two sons. Two years later the family moved permanently to Tyler, where he graduated from John Tyler High School in 1965 before moving to Plano to receive his associate's degree in accounting from Grayson County College. He began his career with Dallas Power and Light in 1967, and would remain with the Texas Utilities company in various roles for 26 years until his retirement in 1993. He launched a second career in 1998 with a move to the College of Santa Fe in New Mexico, ultimately retiring as facilities manager there in 2007.

A case of mistaken identity in late 1967 led to finding the love of his life. Like most young men would have, he responded enthusiastically when a pretty blonde in a '66 Mustang called out his name - even though that name was not his own. The strangers struck up a conversation that led to the marriage of Ronnie and Bette Nell Sheppard just a few months later on March 1, 1968. Their modest wedding launched a five-decade adventure together across the nation, starting with their first home in Louisville, Ky.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army shortly after their marriage, serving in the Adjutant General's Corps at Fort Knox before shipping out to Vietnam in late 1969. Sgt. Perry received numerous citations for his service in the Vietnam War, including the Bronze Star, and was honorably discharged from the military at the end of his enlistment in 1971.

The Perrys picked up where they left off after his Vietnam experience, continuing a journey that saw the family bounce from Plano, Henderson, Granbury, Mount Vernon, Colorado, Santa Fe and finally back to his hometown of Tyler, where the couple raised their three sons and finally settled permanently in 2007. Ronnie always took on an active role in his son's lives and in his community: volunteering as a Little League coach and umpire, as an officer of Rose City Kiwanis, and in leadership roles in the Men's Fellowship and on numerous committees at his church home of First Presbyterian in Tyler.

The avid outdoorsman was actively involved in Scouting most of his adult life, most notably when he and Mrs. Perry started Explorer Post 349 together in 1988, leading five treks to Philmont Scout Ranch - all with coed crews, including one of the first combined male-female contingents in the Ranch's history in 1989. They ran 349 together until 1993, impacting the lives of dozens of young people. Through it all, Ronnie still found time for his passion for golfing and fishing with his friends, all inflected with the sarcastic wit that each of his sons would inherit.

Mr. Perry is survived by his brother and sister-in-law Larry and Nelda Perry of Lake Palestine; sons and daughters-in-law Mike and Janna Perry of Jacksonville, Fla., Jon Perry of Tyler, and Tim and Brenda Perry of Humble; grandchildren Rowan, Grayson and Gemma Perry; brothers- and sisters-in-law Gene Slaughter, Ginger Taylor, Kathy Ellison, and Bob and Nedda Sheppard; aunt Jane Albright Malone; nieces and nephews Bonita Doyle, Shara Hughes, Chris and Donna Perry, David and Jennifer Sheppard, Gena Slaughter and Bill Taylor; and first cousins Jeff and Phil Albright, Carol Albright Bailey, Ray Blevins, Mark Malone, Jimmy and Rod O'Dell, Floyd and Lloyd Perry, and Marquetta Perry Shelton.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 48 years, Bette Nell Sheppard Perry; his parents; father- and mother-in-law Harold Sheppard and Dorothy Wells Toler; brothers-in-law Harold Ellison and Ron Taylor; sisters-in-law Sandra Perry and Nanette Slaughter; aunt Belle Albright Reynolds; uncles Billy Albright, Cecil Perry and Lonnie Perry; and special friends John Jones, Joe Lessert, Ralph McKenzie and Bobby Wills.

Honorary pallbearers for Mr. Perry's memorial are Brenda Hendricks Berryhill, Christian Buderer, Jim Connally, Marshall Ewing, Don Henry, Ron Hill, David Hudson, Steven Hughes, Larry Matthews, Roy McCoy, David Morgan, Bob Schwartz, Bob Sheppard, Bob Skorkowsky, Gene Slaughter, Riley Standifer, Joe Tayntor, Darrell Todd, Becky Western, Kirk Western and Ronnie Wright.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church, Tyler Museum of Art, East Texas Area Council - Boy Scouts of America, or the .
Published in Tyler Morning Telegraph on June 11, 2017
Arrangements under the direction of:
Tyler Memorial Funeral Home Cemetery and Mausoleum
12053 State Highway 64 West | Tyler, TX 75704 | (903) 597-1396
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