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WILLARD SAMUEL PERRY
September 22, 1920 – August 20, 2008
RALEIGH-Willard Samuel Perry, 87, died August 20, 2008.

Will Perry was born in Franklin County. He was the sixth of seven children born to James Edward Perry and Fannie Bell Alford Perry.

This precocious freckled, little redheaded boy matriculated at Seven Paths Elementary School and graduated from Edward Best High School in 1936 as Salutatorian. He worked his way through Louisburg College, earning his degree May 24, 1938.

He joined Battery “B”, 1st Battalion, 113th Field Artillery of the North Carolina National Guard in 1937. September 1940, his unit was called to active duty in the U.S. Army. Later he was selected out of his home unit for the Army Specialized Training Program and sent to study electrical engineering at Purdue University. Will was honorably discharged November 11, 1945 as a staff sergeant of the Signal Corps, earning the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal. He referred to this time of his life as the camping trip he went on with his uncle, his Uncle Sam.

Returning to Louisburg, N.C., he “wired houses” in the surrounding counties as part of the rural electrification efforts. In 1946 he married Marie Astor Fox. Will Perry joined IBM and moved to Raleigh in 1948, retiring in 1976. The joy of his life was fatherhood and he took great pride in his children. His hobbies were gardening, conservation, contemplation and “tinkering.” He was devoted to the mission of Hospice of Wake County.

His parents and three sisters and three brothers predeceased him. Survived by Marie Perry and children: Willard Samuel (Sam) Perry, Jr., Susan Parker Perry Rouse, David Alan Perry, Leatha Marie Perry Ritchie and Mark Arrington Perry. Grandchildren: Willard Samuel Perry, III, Justin Edward Perry, Christopher Charles Rouse, Jennifer Marie Rouse Gilliam, David Simon Perry, Ashley Michelle Perry, Katherine Elizabeth Perry, Laura Hart Ritchie, Matthew Ryan Ritchie. Great-Grandchildren: Madelaine Bell Rouse, Perry Elizabeth Gilliam.

Burial will be at 11:00 am, August 23, 2008 in the family plot at Oakwood Cemetery, Louisburg, N.C. Family and friends will meet at Strickland Funeral Home, 103 W. Franklin St., Louisburg, N.C. from 10:00 am to 11:00 am o’clock, August 23, 2008.

If Will Perry could, he would tell everyone, “don’t waste your money on flowers, save it!”

Volunteer and support Hospice and, if you desire, his children suggest you make any memorial contributions to Hospice of Wake County at 1300 St. Mary’s St., Raleigh, NC 27605.

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