Ronald James Perry
Ronald James Perry, 63, passed away on July 5, 2013, while vacationing with his family in Holland.
A celebration of Ron’s life will be held on Saturday September 14th at 2:30pm at the Henry Ogden Clark Auditorium in Maharishi School, 804 Dr. Robert Keith Wallace Drive in Fairfield, Iowa. All are invited and are encouraged to bring a memory of Ron to share. Immediately following, there will be a dedication ceremony of ‘Ron Perry Court’ in the Maharishi School Fieldhouse and a brief exhibition basketball game.
Ron was born April 20, 1950 in Melrose Park, Illinois, the son of Elmer and Lorraine Perry, in the middle of 5 siblings. He married Evangeline Herrington on June 28, 1975.
Ron graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a B.A. in Social Work in 1973, from George Williams College with a Masters in Social Work in 1977, and from Boston University with a Doctorate in Humanistic Education and Human Services in 1986. He moved to Fairfield with his family in 1985.
In June, Ron joyfully retired from 35 years of full time and adjunct teaching at the college level. He planned to depart this August for Botswana to complete two years of service with the Peace Corps. He spent the majority of his career – 27 years – as a sociology instructor at Southeastern Community College in Burlington, Iowa. Ron also taught classes regionally for Buena Vista University – Ottumwa Center, Great Prairie Area Educational Agency, and Iowa Wesleyan College. Prior to moving to Iowa, he taught at Vermont College of Norwich University in Montpelier, Vermont for 8 years. Over the years, Ron also worked as a liaison or coordinator for several psychiatric hospitals, as a social worker, and in several alternative settings with teenagers. One of his favorite professional adventures was leading the SCC sociology field course trip he created to the Grand Canyon and Havasupai Indian Reservation every March since 1999. Each of his 17 trips to the Havasupai village allowed him to foster and share with students, staff, and community members the rich cultural experience of learning from tribal leaders and hiking 25 miles to make it all happen.
Ron devoted a tremendous amount of time volunteering in his community at Maharishi School where his children all attended and his wife used to work. ‘Coach Ron’ was involved in all aspects of boys and girls basketball from 3rd grade to high school varsity for 20 years. He was also committed to supporting the youth involved in the creative problem-solving program Destination Imagination by leading weekly team-building activities for 8 years.
Ron was a sports enthusiast, particularly in playing and coaching basketball and golf. He was always ready to lead the charge in cheering for any Chicago home sports team and got great joy from playing with the pick-up men’s basketball teams in Fairfield for more than 25 years. Ron also remained connected to the Evans Scholar program and continued to volunteer in the annual caddy fundraising event at Oak Park Country Club that he started nearly 30 years ago.
Ron always reserved a special type of happiness for watching his family enjoying life together on vacations. He loved to travel and spent every summer with his family visiting over 30 National and 25 State Parks to camp and explore. He traveled internationally including recent trips with family and friends to Holland, Japan, England, and Ireland. Throughout those travels and at home, Ron and his wife Evangeline created a life filled with millions of treasurable memories for their three children. Ron was a man of heart. His life was an unassuming expression of devotion and service to others.
Ron is survived by his three children, Amanda, a teacher in Kansas City; Andrew, an independent contractor in Fairfield; and Tegan and her husband David, both internet marketers based in Holland; two sisters, Donna Lazzarotto and her late husband Kent of McHenry, Illinois; and Marilyn Eder and her husband Bill of Medinah, Illinois; three brothers, Bob Perry and his wife Carrie Gallagher of Lawrence, Kansas; Larry Perry of Des Plaines, Illinois; and Danny Perry and his wife Roxanne of Arlington Heights, Illinois; and 24 nieces and nephews. Ron was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Evangeline.
In lieu of flowers, you can honor Ron by making donations to the Dharma Foundation (Dharma Foundation, 1100 N. 4th St. Ste. 230, Fairfield, Iowa 52556) to help all children that need assistance to attend Maharishi School. Alternatively, please honor Ron in any other way that feels meaningful to you.
- Paid obituary -