ILION- Beloved family patriarch Donald “Don” S. Perry, age 79, of E. River St., Ilion, peacefully ascended into Heaven, on Friday, July 2, 2021, surrounded by his family after succumbing to illness at St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Utica.
Don was born on June 15, 1942 to Stewart and Norma (Shepard) Perry in Herkimer, NY. He was educated at Annunciation Catholic School and the Ilion School District. On June 4, 1960, he wed the love of his life, Sharon Matthews, at Ilion’s Church of the Annunciation. From this union, the pair were blessed with three children as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren who affectionately knew him simply as “Pa.” Don was passionate about his 50 year career in sales and repair for Electrolux Vacuum Co. where he received many awards and never forgot a customer. In his free time, Don was a member of the Church of the Annunciation, the Herkimer Polish Club and local bowling leagues. He especially enjoyed time with his family, during birthday parties, holidays, etc. He also enjoyed camping trips, watching NASCAR, and attending stock car races in Fonda, NY and Utica-Rome Speedway. He cherished going boating and fishing. Don was always quick with a joke or anecdote and was notorious for his ability to strike up conversation with anyone. He made new friends wherever he went.
Surviving family include his wife of 61 years, Sharon; his children, Don and his wife Kim Perry, of Ilion, Ruth and her husband, William “Sonny” Klink, of Mohawk and Patricia (Perry) Vandawalker and her partner, Steve Diehl, of Maryland, NY; as well as his brother, Robert “Bob” Perry, of Frankfort. He also leaves 8 grandchildren, Luke Perry, Holly Polidori and her husband, Michael, Jeremy Klink and his wife, Amanda, Matthew Klink and his wife, Kayla, Shannon Vandawalker and her husband, Joseph Sabin, Zachary Vandawalker, Brandi Perry and her partner, Justin Murray, Cody Coleman and her husband, Aaron Coleman; many great grandchildren, Andrew Perry, Jazper, Jude and Lena Polidori, Brian Reile, Adalyn Klink, Liam and Wesley Klink, Silas, Talon and Forrest Murray, Harper, Isaac and Aaron Coleman, Jr.; several nieces and nephews including Robert “Bobby” Perry, Jr., Nathan Perry and his wife, Nicole and their children Nicholas and Olivia Rose; as well as several cousins. Don will also be sorely missed by his faithful dog, Harley.
Don was predeceased by his parents; his sisters, Carol Ann Perry and Mary Rose (Perry) Trask; and his nephew, Lenny Perry.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., at the Applegate-Day & Enea Family Funeral Home at 4309 Acme Rd. (Old Main St.) Ilion, NY. (Town of Frankfort). Anyone planning on attending visitation or services are asked to please wear a mask. Thank you.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, July 8, 2021, at 1:30 p.m., at the Church of the Annunciation, in Ilion, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Father Paul Catena, Pastor. Burial will be in Cedarville Cemetery.
Anyone wishing to share a memory of Don, or add to his online memorial may go to www.applegateandday.com.
In lieu of flowers, as an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 441 W. Kirkpatrick St., Syracuse, NY 13204, or the American Heart Association, 125 Business Park Drive, Ste 106, Utica, NY 13502. Envelopes will also be available at the funeral home.
Don’s service arrangements and supervision are entrusted to his Family Funeral Director and long time friend, Don Applegate.