Rev. Dr. Ronald “Ron” C Perry Jr., 81, died Feb. 15, 2017, at the Community Hospice of Northern Florida in Jacksonville, Fla.
He was surrounded by his wife, Deborah, his daughter Karen and her husband Stephen, and his dog Buddy.
Ron was born to parents Martha J (Davey) Perry Dunham (deceased) and Ronald C Perry, Sr. (deceased). He graduated from Alfred State Tech in 1957 with a degree in Accounting. He then joined the Army and served at Fort Dix. He met and married Rayona J (Glover) Perry in 1959. After leaving the Army, he felt God called him to the ministry. He attended Johnson City Theological Seminary and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Theology in 1966. In 1967, he moved his family to Warsaw Indiana to attend Grace Theological Seminary in 1967 and 1968. Health issues prevented him from receiving his Master’s Degree. While attending school he was employed by Little Crow Foods and as a rural paper carrier for the Warsaw Times Union. He was then employed by RR Donnelly and Sons (now LSC Communications) for 25+ years until he retired in 1996. His wife, Rayona, passed away in 1998.
In 1999, he met and married Edith “Edie” (Black) Sesky. Through her encouragement, he went back to school and finished his Master’s and Doctorate in Theology. He graduated from Master’s School of Theology in 2001. He then fulfilled his lifelong calling and became a pastor in the Primitive Methodist Church. He served faithfully in the ministry for 10 years. His wife, Edith, passed away in 2009 while still in the ministry.
Later in 2009, Ron married Deborah “Debbie” R (Harvey) Coates, who survives. Ron retired from the ministry in 2011 and they moved to Jacksonville, Fla. He loved being where he could go places and do things with his wife any day of the year.
Ron’s faith was his life. He served in churches, studied his Bible and he was passionate about leading others to Christ. He had many interests. Among those were, watching all the news he could, reading books on many different subjects, chess, computers, history, music and taking care of his family. He had a great sense of humor that often led to silliness. He loved animals and they knew it. They would always find him and be in his lap. He collected books, sailboats, light houses and eagles. He loved watching westerns, especially if they starred John Wayne. He will be deeply missed by those who loved him.
In addition to his wife Debbie, Ron is also survived by his two children: Karen Frantz (Stephen) Warsaw; and Rebecca Arefin (Samuel) Sanford, Fla.; his wife Deborah’s children: Jeremy Coates (Melissa) Jacksonville, Fla.; Brandon Coates (Christy) Jacksonville, Fla.; Amanda Davis (Wayne) Peckville, Penn.; his sister, Ruth Ann Wallace, Phoenix, Ariz.; and his sister, Regina Miller, Fort Wayne; his 21 grandchildren and step grandchildren, 30 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his stepmother, Harriet Perry and his stepfather, Louis Dunham and his brother-in-law, Harold Wallace.
There will be a memorial service on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at Community Bible Church 2947 South County Farm Rd Warsaw. Visitation is from 1-4:30 p.m. with service following. Rev Jack Worth will officiate. Cremation was handled by Naugle Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Jacksonville, Fla. Burial of his ashes will be a private ceremony for the immediate family.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Memorial Fund of the Primitive Methodist Churches c/o Fred Perkins 5379 Geiger Cemetery Rd Zephyrhills, FL 33541-1970