April 10, 2022
Jeffrey Lloyd Perry died peacefully in his daughter’s embrace on April 10, 2022 in Louisville, KY, less than two weeks before his 89th birthday, following a brief hospital stay. When asked what brought the peace-loving, politically astute war veteran to the emergency room three weeks before his death, he responded with one word: “Putin.”
Mr. Perry was born during the Great Depression. He credited his eventual success to a two-year stint in the Army during the Korean War, which led to his greatest gift in life, the GI Bill. In addition to frequently lamenting the fact that this benefit was denied to over a million Black veterans, Mr. Perry believed everyone, not just veterans, should have access to “socialized medicine.” He received free medical coverage from the Veterans Administration, and he was a staunch supporter for Medicare for All.
After graduating from the University of Oklahoma, Mr. Perry worked for Ling Temco Vought Aircraft Corporation in Grand Prairie, Texas. His early work was performing experimental stress analysis on aircraft wing, fuselage, and landing gear components. Mr. Perry also developed teaching aids for engineering students, which he marketed in the US, Europe, and India.
Later, after pursuing a graduate degree at Oklahoma University, he worked as Editor of the LTV/E-Systems joint Research and Development Annual Plan with E-Systems of Garland, Texas.
In 1975, Mr. Perry joined the company’s newly created Solar Energy Technology Lab. In 1983, he and five of his colleagues formed Entech Solar. At Entech Solar, Mr. Perry worked with materials and processes used in manufacturing the company’s products. When he retired in 1995, he was Vice President of Manufacturing and Vice President of Special Projects.
Mr. Perry’s favorite hobby was painting acrylics and watercolors. As an artist, he received numerous ribbons, awards, and prizes. Over the 35-year period that he painted, he catalogued over 500 finished pieces, most of which were sold by art galleries in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. In his later years, inspired by an abundance of smooth river rocks and his declining hand eye coordination, he took to painting turtles and frogs on the rocks to give as gifts and sell at local craft fairs and community fundraisers.
At the age of 61, the year Mr. Perry retired, he “got the bug” to add RV’ing to his hobby list! He actually spent nearly 15 years traveling the open road. Winters were often spent in Mexico and summers in Canada, Alaska, Utah, and Colorado.
Mr. Perry moved to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas in 2006, where he and his partner, Carol, enjoyed cultivating wildflower and butterfly gardens. Mr. Perry said goodbye to his partner and home in Mission, Texas to move to Louisville, KY last September to live out his remaining days near his daughter and her family.
Mr. Perry is survived by his daughter, Gay Perry Adelmann (Chris), grandsons, pacifist Perry Adelmann (Innes) and Marine pilot Peyton Adelmann, and the family rescue basenji, Gracie, of Louisville. He also leaves behind his partner, Carol Dolan of Houston, TX, and nephews and nieces who loved him very much.
Although he never saw active combat, the honorably discharged, Good Conduct Medal recipient, Army veteran did his patriotic duty the day he reported for his draft notice, because he believed in our nation’s ability to establish and maintain an increasingly fair form of government. One he often described as democratic socialism, but without the tyranny of the tyrants. Immediately upon arrival in Kentucky, at his daughter’s recommendation, he registered as a Democrat so he could vote in the May 17 Primary. As he became more concerned about the state of affairs under Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell and president Trump’s “leadership,” and became more familiar with the political landscape in Kentucky and the candidates running for local, state and national office, the more hopeful he became about his opportunity to vote in the Democratic primary.
In lieu of flowers, Mr. Perry’s family ask that donations be made to Black female candidates running for office across the country, and in particular the campaigns for Attica Scott for US Congress (KY Democrat Yarmuth’s vacant seat) and Shameka Parrish-Wright for Louisville Mayor, before the May 17 Primary. And please, in honor of Mr. Perry, and all of our ancestors and neighbors who suffered and died protecting our freedoms, regardless of who you vote for, please vote.