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July 2, 1922 ~ October 27, 2023 (age 101) 101 Years Old
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Russell Perry passed away on October 27, 2023, in his apartment at Harmony at Kent in Dover, Delaware at the age of 101. He was preceded in death by his wives Mary Jane (Wilkerson) 1947 - 1985, Betty Lou (Pearce) 1986 - 2003, and Glenda Lee (Keighton) 2005 - 2019.
Russell was born in Buffalo, NY, on July 2, 1922. He was the son of Lorenzo and Laura Perry. In 1941, he enlisted in the Marine Corps. He served in the Marines until 1945. While in the Marines, he fought in the Pacific Theater surviving two beach assaults.
When he returned to the states, he worked many different jobs while attending Columbia Tech at night. During this time, he married Mary Jane Wilkerson on August 3, 1946. Three years later he was commissioned into the Army. He spent most of that time stationed in Germany. In later years he traveled back to Germany and Europe many times.
In 1955, after leaving active duty and having earned a B.S. from the University of Maryland, he and the family headed to Camden, Delaware where he was offered his first teaching job and his career in education. Except for two years teaching at William Penn, he spent his career in the Caesar Rodney School District. He started his career teaching 5th and 6th grade in a 2 room schoolhouse. During his career in Caesar Rodney, he taught elementary school and PE. He coached football and track. When he got his masters at the University of Delaware, he moved from teaching to assistant principal, to principal, to assistant to the superintendent until his retirement in 1987. During this time, he continued his service to our country by serving in the Army Reserves. He retired from the Reserves in 1982 with the rank of LT. Colonel.
Always an active person, Russell enjoyed golf, running, and working out. He started running marathons at the age of 59. He ran several marathons including 2 Marine Corp Marathons. He enjoyed performing with the Community Singer Theater group. His most memorable performance was as a drunk in DESTRY RIDES AGAIN. Until he was 99, you could find him working on his home or in his yard.
He is survived by his sister, Susan Kundig, of California. His children Christine Fox (Robert deceased) of Dover, DE, Susan Soltis (John) of Brandon, MN, John Perry (Jaymee) of St. Cloud, FL, 9 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. From Glenda’s family Cindy Knapp (Chip) of Dover, DE, Charles Keighton of Dover, DE and 3 grandchildren
Visitation will be from 6-8 pm on Friday, November 3 at Pippin Funeral Home, 119 W. Camden-Wyoming Avenue, Wyoming. Burial will be private on November 4 at Barratt’s Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to VITAS Healthcare, 100 Commerce Drive, Suite 302, Newark, DE 19713 or the Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758516, Topeka, KS 66675-8516.
Letters of condolence may be sent via: www.pippinfuneralhome.com