Robert Lee Perry Jr.
March 16, 1924 – November 2, 2018
Robert Lee Perry Jr. was born March 16, 1924 in Murphysboro, Illinois to Robert L. Perry, Sr. and Katherine Curtis Campbell Perry. His first memory was of the 1925 Tri-State Tornado, after which his grandfather took him to see a brick house that, while standing, had straw driven unbroken through the brick.
He attended school in Chicago, Illinois, in the middle of the Great Depression. Bob famously said he didn’t know they were poor, however, because everyone was.
He volunteered and joined the army in 1942 as part of the aviation cadet program. Upon completion of his training, he was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant, aerial navigator. On July 24, 1943, Robert married Lillian Adel Birkland, a staunch Lutheran from a Norwegian farming community. It was the beginning not only of a lifelong love affair with his wife, but also with the Lutheran Church that Bob would faithfully serve the rest of his life.
The war separated them almost immediately. Bob flew 35 combat missions with the 379th bomb group (the Grand Slam Group), part of the 8th Air Force. His decorations included the two battle stars and the World War II Victory Medal.
Despite facing the horrors of war, Bob and the men of his generation returned with a sense of optimism and a drive to make the world a better place for their kids. He and Lillian were blessed with four children: Barbara Lynn Perry Wright (John), Elizabeth Kay Perry Allie (Ron), Timothy Alan Perry (Denise) and Nancy Anne Perry West (Tim).
They moved to Oklahoma City in 1954. Bob worked at Southwestern Stationery and Bank Supply Company for 28 years before retiring in 1986. In retirement, Bob found time for many hobbies, including recording audio books for the blind, racquetball, completing thousands of crossword puzzles and faithfully leading the Men’s Bible Breakfast for years.
The light of Bob and Lillian’s lives were their two grandchildren: Benjamin Andrew West (Nicole) and Valerie Page West Trammell (Mitch).
After the loss of Lillian in 2000, Bob moved to the West Family Compound, where he could be surrounded by family. He also lived long enough to see two great grandchildren: Evelyn Mae Trammell and Marcus Royal Trammell.
Bob was well known in the church for his prayers during Wednesday night services that always began, “Father God…”. But most of all, he will be remembered for his favorite phrase: God is Good, All the Time. And all the time, God is good.
- Visitation Tuesday, November 6, 2018
- Funeral Service Wednesday, November 7, 2018
- Committal Service Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Robert Lee Perry Jr.
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