Malcolm “Mal” Emerson Perry, 82, passed away peacefully on August 17, 2023. Born On August 6, 1941, he was the 7th of 11 children born to William Ray Perry and Phyllis Archer Perry. Shortly after his birth, the family moved from the Pittsburgh, PA area to a farm near Eldred, PA. The Christian heritage of his family and his role in the hard work and joys of a family dairy farm formed the foundation of his beliefs, values, and choices throughout the remainder of his life.
Following high school, he earned an Associate Degree in Pre-Architecture with emphasis in construction technology from LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas, and then earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English education from Roberts Wesleyan College in North Chili, New York. After graduation in 1966, Mal accepted a high school teaching position in Springville, NY, however a significant accident prevented him from following through. Then, relying on his associate degree, he accepted a position at Delco Products as an Industrial Engineer. He spent the bulk of his career with General Motors at Delco Products, but in later years, he began working in Health and Safety and became the Ergonomics Coordinator. He retired in 1999.
Mal was a man of many talents, and he developed a variety of interests over the years. He was well read and especially enjoyed reading about both our national and local area history. His sizable library included many important books about the Civil War, WW II, and the works of Arch Merrill and Carl Carmer. He was a farm boy at heart, and his collection of barn and tractor books were always nearby. He was a lover of “good” literature, especially poetry. He wrote poetry, sometimes just to privately express his thoughts and emotions and at other times to share at the Thanksgiving table or a Christmas gathering. Music, especially classical and sacred choral music, brought him great meaning and enjoyment throughout his life. He and 3 brothers sang in a quartet during his early years; he was a 4-year member of the Roberts Wesleyan College Chorale; and he was a long-time member of the Pearce Memorial Church choir.
Mal believed deeply in a sense of home. He and his wife, Charmy, brought an old farmhouse back to life, and created a beautiful home they enjoyed sharing with others. Life was good when he was outside working with his John Deere tractor or mowing perfectly straight lines on the 2-acre front lawn. He took great pride in planting a long row of maple trees, placed exactly 50 ft. apart on the east boundary of the property. When not outside, he could often be found in his “shop” working on a project – building or fixing something! He especially enjoyed repairing and restoring antiques for home or to sell in their antiques business. Antiquing adventures drew Mal and Charmy to the Lancaster Co. area of Pa where they eventually purchased a second home. For Mal, a drive through the Lancaster Co. farmland was pure pleasure.
He believed in serving his community and held membership on the Ogden Planning Board and was Chairman of the Ogden Republican Committee for several years. He then served as councilman on the Ogden Town Board from 2003 until his retirement in 2022.
Above all, he was a man of faith who valued his relationship to God, his family, and his country. He was actively involved in his church and in a men’s prayer breakfast group for over 40 years, where he could be counted on for thoughtful reflections, and poignant questions. He was naturally outgoing, and he developed a wide circle of friends who were drawn to his wit and charm. He was a loving husband, father, stepfather and grandfather, and his example of a life well lived has made a difference for those who knew and loved him. He was a kind, compassionate man who valued honesty, truth, excellence, and hard work. It truly could be said that “He was a good man.”
Mal is predeceased by his parents, William Ray Perry and Phyllis Archer Perry, his siblings, William Ray Perry Jr., James Perry, Phyllis Caryl Conable, David Perry, and Bruce Perry.
Mal is survived by and is deeply missed by his wife, Charmy, sons Andrew (Kim) Perry, David (Jodi) Perry; stepchildren Melanie (Adam) Klock, Jeffrey (Angie) Meyers, and Jonathan (Kirsten) Meyers; siblings Priscilla Yale, Faith Boyce, Melody Campbell, Lynton Perry, and Cynthia Smith; 4 grandchildren and 10 step grandchildren along with numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service of remembrance and celebration will be held on September 16, 2023, 1:00 pm at Pearce Memorial Church, 4322 Buffalo Road, North Chili, NY.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made either to Pearce Memorial Church or Roberts Wesleyan University.