Elwyn L. Perry, 82, of Riga, Mich., passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on February 26, 2020, after a long struggle with dementia and Parkinson’s disease.
Elwyn loved his family and was very proud of taking care of them. He was a good man/husband/father/grandfather with honesty and high morals. He would do anything for his family and friends. Elwyn did not like to rely on others because he felt like he was imposing, but he was always the first one to jump in to help. Elwyn was a devout Catholic with strong faith who was an usher for over 40 years at St. Anthony’s Church, Temperance, Mich., until he was no longer able. Elwyn loved to dance and could always be found on the dance floor at wedding receptions. He also loved to play euchre with the “gang.” He enjoyed taking his family on camping trips, swimming at Posey Lake, and to Florida. He was also a longtime member of Ottawa Lake Sportsman Club.
Elwyn was born to Allie and Rose (Burgard) Perry in Deerfield, Mich., on September 3, 1937. He had 8 siblings. His parents passed away when Elwyn was very young, and he and his siblings were then raised by other family members. Elwyn never talked much about his childhood but remained close to his siblings. He graduated from Deerfield High School in 1955.
Elwyn married Janet (Wernert) at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church on September 14, 1957. He was at a party when she asked him to fix her up with another man. Elwyn replied “what’s wrong with me?” They were married for 63 years and had 8 children. Elwyn worked electrical side jobs to help support their large family. He was very conservative with money so he could take care of his family. In 1972, the family moved into their beautiful new home that Elwyn built with help from family and friends.
Elwyn was the head electrician at Lehn & Fink Products, where they nicknamed him “Sparky” or just called him El. He was the chairman of their UAW Local 12 Union for many years and was also a member of IBW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) Local 8. He was a skilled craftsman who enjoyed woodworking and turned it into a side business for 10 years. He always joked that he was a “Jack-of-all-trades but master of none.”
Elwyn was a great role-model to his family. All 4 of his sons are also “Jack-of-all-trades,” because he would teach them ‘how-to’ rather than just do it. He loved to tell his 4 daughters, with a wink in his eye, “You can marry a rich man as well as a handyman!”
Upon his retirement in 1999, Elwyn and Janet spent winters at their home in Zephyrhills, Fla. He enjoyed playing golf, hosting parties, and looked forward to family and friends visiting. They also traveled to Thailand, Hawaii, and enjoyed cruises.
Elwyn is survived by his wife of 63 years, Janet, his sister Helena Rymanowicz, and 8 children: David (Amy) Perry, Tamara Van Hove, Tina (Mike) Ellis, Dale (Cindy) Perry, Terri Kluge, Toni (Tom) Steinmetz, Douglas (Amanda) Perry, and Daniel (Tami) Perry. He also has 24 grandchildren: Matthew (Bethany) Perry, Ashley (Cliff) Yonkers, Haleigh Perry, Dawn (Aaron) Decator, Dustin Van Hove, Derrick (Julie) Van Hove, Shawna Ellis, Jacob Perry, Brittney Perry, Brock Perry, Spencer Kluge, Paige Kluge, Tyler Steinmetz, Travis Steinmetz, Tiffany Steinmetz, , Chelsea (Zach) DeSilvis, Zachary (Dawn) Perry, Samantha Perry, Jeter Perry, Mitchell Perry, Dillon Perry, Caleb Perry, Olivia Perry; and 9 great-grandchildren: Emma Van Hove, Addyson Van Hove, Greyson Decator, Deandra Van Hove, Felicity Van Hove, Grant Yonkers, Raiden Perry, Israella Perry, and Jax DeSilvis.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Robert Perry, Norman Perry, Russell Perry, Charles Perry, Gerald Perry, and Stanley Perry; sister Betty Ann Perry; and grandson Brandon Kluge.
Visitation will be held at Reeb Funeral Home at 5712 N. Main St., Sylvania, Ohio on Tuesday, March 3 from 2:00-9:00 p.m., with a Scripture Service at 7 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday, March 4 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Anthony Catholic Church, 4605 St. Anthony Road, Temperance, Mich.
Memorial contributions may be made at Parkinson Foundation of Northwest Ohio at www.pfnwo.org/donate or mail to 150 W.S. Boundary St., PMB #202, Perrysburg, Ohio 43551.
Janet and her family would like to give a heartfelt thank you to LeAnn, RN at Ohioans Home Healthcare, and Renee, RN of Hospice of NW Ohio. Online Condolences to reebfuneralhome.com
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