Theodore Arthur Perry
May 1, 1927 - Nov. 15, 2013
ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. -- Theodore Perry died in his adopted home of Rogersville, Tenn., on Nov. 15, 2013. He was preparing to return to his Maine family when he passed away. Although born in Boston, Maine was Ted's home for all but the last 17 years, spent in eastern Tennessee, where he built a home near his brother Eben, and enjoyed new friendships.
Ted left his Auburn Red Eddie classmates to join the Navy, serving in WWII
in the South Pacific and pre-revolutionary China. He returned to service during the Korean conflict
, serving in the Mediterranean theater.
Perry was a graduate of programs at Portland School of Art, the University of Maine, and the University of Iowa
. His education prepared him for a lifetime of teaching, especially in the humanities at Westbrook College where he taught for nearly 30 years. He produced paintings, sculpture, pottery, and drawings, but his mainstay was the teaching of Western Civilization and Art History.
During his time at Westbrook, Ted was instrumental in developing running and road racing programs with interested students and was a Maine Master runner who completed the Casco Bay Marathon in his 60s.
Perry married Theresa Vassar of South Portland in 1953. Together they raised four children in Falmouth. They were divorced in 1978. Perry married longtime partner, Cathy Walz, in 1988, and spent many years among friends on Highland Cliff Road in Windham.
Ted began volunteering as a firefighter
in Auburn in the 1940s, and served many years in Falmouth, including time as a Lieutenant at Engine 3.
During the Civil War centennial of the 1960s, Ted was active in a re-creation of Maine's 2nd Regiment, United States Sharp Shooters. He used a musket recovered from the Gettysburg battlefield in that group, and in pursuit of deer, which he also hunted as an expert archer. Perry was an early and effective supporter of renewed turkey hunting both in Maine and Tennessee.
A fine tenor with a musical family history, Perry took pride and pleasure in the musical accomplishments of his children and grandchildren. He was intensely proud of his Scottish ancestry, enthusiastically creating and staffing a Clan MacIntyre pavilion at Celtic festivals in the South, and cutting a sharp figure in the kilt even in his 80s.
Perry is survived by his brother Eben, who was his lifelong friend and mentor, and by Eben's wife, Maureen; and by his four children, Glenn and his wife Mary Jane, Dean, Clay and his wife Melanie, and Lynne. Ted was very proud of his six grandchildren, Gwendolyn, Haly, Faye, Evelyn, Ande and Ian. He was delighted to greet his great- granddaughter, Willa.
The Perry family wishes to thank Ted's Tennessee friends, especially the late Ronnie Pryce, and his wife Jo, for their part in making his time there so pleasant. A special thanks also to Ted's old friend in both Maine and Tennessee, Bert Cleaves and to his wife Star, who were there at his passing and have been so kind in so many ways for so many years.
The family will celebrate a private ceremony at Oak Hill Cemetery in Auburn on Ted's 87th birthday, May 1, 2014.
Theodore Arthur Perry