Bob G. Perry, 86, of Ridgefield, Connecticut, husband of Gayle McClain Perry, died peacefully on June 29 surrounded by his family. He was predeceased by his wife of 56 years and his brother, J. Bruce Perry of Houston, Texas.
Bob was born in Amarillo, Texas on September 27, 1934 and soon moved to Plainview, Texas with his parents, Briley and Jewell Perry. Bob and Gayle met in the Plainview High School marching band and dated long distance while they were in college. Graduating from the University of Texas in 1956 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, he skipped his graduation ceremony and hurried to Plainview where he and Gayle were married. After a short honeymoon in Colorado, they drove to Victoria, Texas to join Union Carbide. In a twist of fate, Bob got a second chance to wear a cap and gown at the University of Texas in 1996 when he was named a Distinguished Graduate and delivered the commencement address for the College of Engineering.
Bob had an impressive 37-year career with Union Carbide in Victoria, Texas; Charleston, West Virginia; Luling, Louisiana; Toronto, Canada; commuting to New York City; and finally, Danbury, Connecticut. During his career he was recognized as a leader, manager and mentor to many people. Bob and Gayle moved to Ridgefield, Connecticut in 1976. Gayle liked to say “she” chose their last home. Retiring from Union Carbide as Vice President Manufacturing and Engineering in 1993, Bob joined the staff of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers as Managing Director. He was proud of his contributions to the Center for Chemical Process Safety. In 2008 he was named a Fellow at both AIChE and CCPS.
Bob demonstrated his strong faith and commitment to community service throughout his life. Bob was lifelong member of the Methodist church. Over the years, he was a Sunday school teacher, Lay Leader, Trustee, and served on numerous boards and committees including as a charter member of both the Spirit Builder Council and the Spirit Builder Advisory Committee at Jesse Lee. As a Christian, the church was an important part of his life and the life of his family.
Bob was active in many Ridgefield community activities including the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra Board, the Ridgefield Men’s Club and Bock Room Boys, Founder’s Hall History Class, the Ridgefield Community Emergency Response Team, and the Regency Engineering Committee. Bob and Gayle were regulars at the CHIRP concerts in Ballard Park and were frequently seen dining with the Older Than Dirt Gang at Dimitri’s.
Bob also had a passion for cars, particularly for Morgans. For many years, Bob and Gayle were active members of the ¾ Morgan Group. Bob loved his cars, but found that the friends and associations that come with the cars were often more important than the cars.
In everything he undertook, Bob brought an old-fashioned integrity, and the qualities of a true gentleman. He will be sorely missed by his church and community, but most of all by his family.
Bob is survived by his children, Debbie Perry of Danbury, David Perry and his partner, Jorge Cortez, of Berkeley, California, Bruce Perry and his wife Elizabeth Knapp Perry of Ridgefield, and countless kind and thoughtful friends.
Memorial services and a celebration of Bob's life will take place at Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church, 207 Main Street, Ridgefield CT at 11 AM on Saturday, July 31st. A reception will follow the service. Donations may be made in his memory to Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church.
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Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church
207 Main Street, Ridgefield CT 06877