August 20, 1947 – January 3, 2019
Henry Perez was born on August 20, 1947, at home under the kitchen table; in a small town in Southern California. He would become my grandparents’ fourth child and the baby brother to my Uncle Ray, Aunt Susanna and Uncle Richard. Little did he know, but he would also become the most important man in my life.
My father grew up in Fillmore, spending his days amongst the orange and avocado orchards; cradled by the Sespe and San Cayentano mountains and embraced by the cool Pacific Ocean breeze. He swam in the Sespe Creek; played baseball and football in high school; fished at Lake Piru; golfed at local courses and uncovered his love for history and photography.
After high school, he would get the opportunity to pursue his passion as a photographer in the United States Air Force. Primarily stationed at Elmendorf AFB in Alaska, he spent four years flying across the country—shooting planes like T-33s, C-97s, and F-102s mid-flight. He would receive two Presidential Unit Citations for capturing President Lyndon B. Johnson and Vice President Hubert Humphrey and gain sole access to take pictures of other well-known figures as they visited his base. Ultimately, he would earn the rank of Sergeant. Later, he would go on to study History at Ventura College and California State University, Northridge.
His photography, however, would not end with his assignment in the Air Force. Capturing the beauty of this world came instinctively. Landscapes, sunrises and sunsets were his quarry. Many of which were taken in Northern Arizona where he called home for most of his adult life. If you knew my father, then you knew he always had his camera in hand. My father would say some of his greatest accomplishments were documented by him standing behind the lens of his own camera.
Yet, he would say his proudest and grandest accomplishment were me and my brothers. His love for his children surpassed all things. My most special moments were shared with my father—honoring the memory of my brothers by showing our love for super heroes, dinosaurs, Star Wars and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Despite the great things he did and the great people in his life, my father was constantly dealing with the effects of T2 Diabetes. In recent years, they made his body weak and tired. It was inevitable that one day he would be reunited with my brothers. And even in our darkest of moments, he remained the light of my life.
Dad, you touched the lives of so many. You had the biggest smile, the warmest heart, and you cared genuinely. You turned friends into family and gave refuge to animals in need. You leave a legacy of memories for us to carry with us for the rest of our lives. I love you. We love you. Son, brother, father, uncle, nephew, cousin, friend, veteran, photographer, golfer, lover of animals and so, so much more.
Henry Perez—my father, my best friend, my sports confidant and my hero—died January 3, 2019, in his bed in our North Cliff home in Dallas, Texas.
He is welcomed home by his sons, Jose and Vicente, mother Natividad, father Librado and brother Raymond. He is remembered by his sister Susanna, brother Richard, former-spouse Rosa, our family in Coacalco, Mexico, his many cousins, nieces and nephews across this country, his Akita Mila, Dachshund Bailey, Cat Baby and me, his daughter Valeria. We will be holding two memorial services. One in Dallas, Texas at the Dallas/Fort Worth National Cemetery with a reception at our home to follow and the other in our hometown of Fillmore, California. Also, many have asked how they can help. If you would like to help towards funeral home and memorial service expenses, you can do so here: https://paypal.me/pools/c/8bgey9xC2D. And even if you’re unable to give financially - your love and support is and has been more than enough. And for this alone, I am forever thankful.
Please join the family at 10:30AM on Monday January 21, 2019 at DFW National Cemetery, 2000 Mountain Creek Parkway Dallas, TX 75211, for an Inurnment Service to honor Sgt. Henry Perez.
10:30 am - 11:00 am
DFW National Cemetery
2000 Mountain Creek Pkwy
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