Roger A. Perry, Jr., of Needham, formerly of Wellesley and Marion, MA, on May 16, 2020. He was 95. He was the husband of the late Nancy E. Perry to whom he was married for 66 years. A loving father, grandfather, great grandfather, and brother, he will be deeply missed by his three sons, R. Adams Perry III of Millbrook, NY and his former wife Phoebe of Delray Beach, FL, Mark Perry and his wife Susan of South Dartmouth, MA, David Perry and his wife Julie of Wellesley, MA, daughter Charlotte Perry Dougherty and her husband Richard of Lexington, MA, eight grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and brother H. Bradlee Perry and sister Elizabeth Perry Ball, both of Needham, MA.
Roger was gifted with positive energy, a strong work ethic, an ability to work with a wide variety of people and personalities in all types of organizations and situations, to cajole them, find common ground, develop meaningful personal relationships and achieve results. He really cared for people and he was adored by many in return. He was deeply devoted to his family and an extraordinary role model. He believed strongly in the importance of education and dedication to one’s work and community. He grew up in Brookline and was a graduate of Dexter School and Milton Academy. He served in the US Army during WW II. He received a BA degree from Harvard College in 1950. Upon graduation from college, he embarked on a long, varied and successful professional career that began as a wool merchant at Edgehill-Lukens in Boston. When that business was sold, he took his marketing and sales talents to rope manufacturer, Samson Cordage. He later transitioned to the non-profit sector in the administration of Dana Hall School and subsequently at the New England Deaconess Hospital from which he retired as Executive Vice President. His career didn’t end there however. He had proven himself to be a consummate fundraiser and he directed his focus to the causes he cared for deeply. Initially, he devoted himself to Dexter School’s development office and its fundraising activities. Thereafter, and then in his early 80’s, his interest in good government along with his energy and passion to continue contributing led him to the Pioneer Institute. At Pioneer, he applied his extensive experience to improving the Institute’s governance and expanding its community of supporters, challenges which he enthusiastically embraced. He continued working at Pioneer until just a few months ago.
Roger was a resident of Wellesley for 55 years and an active volunteer in town government. He was a Town Meeting member for 32 years. He served on the town’s Housing Authority and Advisory and Audit Committees, among others. He was also a long-time member of the Wellesley Hills Congregational Church and the Wellesley Club, a civic organization for which he served as President, and later Curator.
His recreational passions were boating, skiing and ice hockey, and he cultivated those passions in his children and grandchildren. His summer cottage on Planting Island in Marion, MA brought Roger and his family many years of enjoyment and presented him with yet another community in which he could get involved and contribute. He was a member of both the Beverly Yacht Club and the Planting Island Association for many years. He enjoyed contributing to the management of the Association, especially its relationship with the Town of Marion, and the maintenance of the Association’s assets, its roads and docks. He was recently recognized by the Association for all of his contributions over the years by naming the driveway to the Association dock, “Roger’s Way” – a not-so-subtle reference to his convictions about doing things a certain way!
A celebration of Roger’s life will be held when all those who have been privileged to know him can gather together to provide him with a fitting tribute. A private burial will take place at a future date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Roger’s memory to the “Roger Perry Memorial Fund” at the Pioneer Institute 185 Devonshire St., Suite 1101, Boston, MA 02110 www.pioneerinstitute.org/donate or the Buzzards Bay Coalition 114 front St New Bedford MA, 02740www.savebuzzardsbay.org/donate