Global Ministries is saddened to learn of the death of Reverend Herbert B Perry, Jr
Reverend Herbert B. Perry, Jr
January 21, 0927 – November 9, 2014
Rev. Herbert B. Perry, Jr. who was born in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1927, the first son of Herbert B. Perry and Edith Eliza Mosher Perry died in St. Johnsbury, VT, after a brief illness on Sunday, November 9, 2014.
Following his graduation from Chicopee High School in 1944 Herbert Perry enlisted in the Navy. He was discharged in 1946 and enrolled in Springfield’s American International College, graduating in 1950 at which time he also married a classmate, Karyl Shaw, of Springfield. He then spent three years studying for the ministry at Harvard Divinity School and was ordained in June of 1953 by the Brookfield Association of Congregational Churches and Ministers in the Oakham Congregational Church where he had served as a student pastor. After serving churches in Dorset, Vermont and Riverhead, New York he, in company with his wife and family, went to Zimbabwe, Africa under the auspices of the United Church Board for World Ministries, a predecessor mission body of what today is Global Ministries.
Reverend Perry served as chaplain and teacher at Mt. Selinda Institute, a secondary boarding school located on Zimbabwe’s southeastern border with Mozambique. After four years in Africa he spent his furlough year earning a Master’s of Sacred Theology degree at Boston University’s African Studies Center. He was then invited to return to Zimbabwe as an advisor to African churches and clergy. After three more years he returned to the U.S. He and his wife then separated and were eventually divorced. He went on to serve churches in Bellows Falls, Vermont and Parker, Colorado. While in Colorado he met and married his present wife, Gwen Georgina Guinn, from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Rev. Perry had a long association with Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, which began during the 1950’s when he and his family were introduced to Big Averill Lake where they frequently vacationed. Following his ministry and marriage in Colorado he received and accepted a call to serve the Congregational Church in East Burke, Vermont. He retired from the East Burke Church in 1994 and moved to Fort Myers, Florida. There he divided his time between the Fort Myers Congregational Church where he was the Minister of Visitation and ECHO (Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization) located in north Fort Myers where he worked as a volunteer with the organization’s interns. He and his wife finally decided to return to the Northeast Kingdom to spend their remaining years while he served various churches of the area as an interim minister including Peacham, Irasburg, Barton, Glover, Brownington and Westmore. Additionally, he visited retired United Church of Christ clergy residing in the northern half of New Hampshire and Vermont as an annuitant visitor on behalf of the Pension Boards of the United Church of Christ. A more detailed memoir of his life is entitled Adventures & Mishaps in the Ministry which he self-published a few years ago.
Reverend Herbert Perry is survived by Gwen, his wife of twenty-seven years, a sister, Jean Bradley (John), of West Springfield, MA. His children include Pamela Jennette (Michael) of Franklin, MA, Dr. Deborah Perry (Greg Maravolo) of Chicago, IL, Suzanne Shelley (Randy) of Portland, ME and Jonathan Perry (Jamie Merrill) of South Portland, ME, and his grandchildren: Timothy Flanders of Sebago, ME, Todd Fleischman of Virginia Beach, VA, Daniel Flanders (Kat), of Biddeford, ME, and Lora Fleischman (Tim Gill), of Shannock, RI. There are five great grand-children, Thomas, Tia, and Noah Fleischman, Hannah Flanders, and Daisy Day Gill, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by two brothers, Neil Perry of Turners Falls, MA, and Richard Perry of West Springfield, MA.
A memorial service was held on Friday, November 21 at St. Johnsbury’s North Congregational Church, 1325 Main Street, at 11:00 a.m., the Rev. Jay Sprout officiating. Memorial gifts to the Old Stone House Museum (109 Old Stone House Road, Brownington, VT 05860), are suggested.
Condolences may be sent to his wife, Mrs. Gwen Perry, 51 Fox Run Circle, Lyndonville, VT 02851.