Charles W. “Bill” Perry, a former Holland postmaster and a volunteer firefighter who was a veteran of the Korean War, died Thursday in Ebeid Hospice Residence in Sylvania. He was 82.
He succumbed to bladder cancer, relatives said.
Mr. Perry was Holland postmaster from 1960 until his 1986 retirement, with the first three years in an acting capacity.
Before that, he was an arc welder at area businesses.
In 1972, Mr. Perry was presented the Postmaster of the Year award at the Ohio Branch of the National League of Postmasters convention in Cincinnati.
He was president of the Ohio Branch from 1969 to 1972 and vice president of the National League of Postmasters from 1975 to 1977.
“Being a postmaster was very important to him because he came from a small community,” said his daughter, Francine Gibson.
“And he was very proud in getting them to build a new post office in Holland. And he enjoyed serving the people of Holland. He was very hard-working, very community-oriented, and very strong-willed.”
Mr. Perry was a member of the former Holland Volunteer Fire Department for 11 years in the 1960s and 1970s, within which time he was the drill chief.
He was on the Holland Strawberry Festival board in the late 1960s, helping organize the Strawberry Homecoming Organization and later serving as the board’s treasurer.
Born Dec. 1, 1931 to George A. and Mildred Halliday Perry in Athens, Ohio, he was raised on the family farm in southeast Ohio’s Meigs County.
He graduated from the former Rutland Joint High School in 1948 at age 16 and attended many training schools thereafter.
In his younger years, he helped on the farm and worked as a stock boy at an A&P grocery in Middleport, along the Ohio River.
At age 16, he won the 4-H Club’s “I Dare You” Award.
He enlisted in the Navy in 1951 and was stationed in the Philippines during the Korean War.
He was honorably discharged in 1955.
He moved to Toledo to be an arc welder at the former Sherlock Bakery Co.
He later was employed by the former Surface Combustion Co., and the former American Shipbuilding Co. in Toledo.
In retirement, Mr. Perry enjoyed his lakeside home in Hillsdale and visits to Florida.
He liked fishing South Sand Lake in Hillsdale County for bass.
In 1999, Mr. Perry pleaded no contest to and was found guilty in Sylvania Municipal Court of a menacing charge related to a dispute involving a tree that had been cut down near his home.
Authorities said Mr. Perry threatened to shoot Douglas Kaiser, then Holland’s police chief, and Dave Miller, the owner of Springfield Hardware.
Mr. Perry lived next to the hardware store at the time.
Mr. Perry was a longtime member of the Springfield United Brethren Church.
His other memberships included the Holland American Legion Post 646, the National Federation of Government Employees, and the National League of Postmasters.
His wife of 40 years, Helen Circle Perry, died in 1991.
Surviving are his daughter, Francine Gibson, son, Dan Perry, six grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.
Visitation is 2 to 8 p.m. today in Reeb Funeral Home, Sylvania, where services are at 11:30 a.m. Monday.
The family suggests tributes to a charity of the donor’s choice or performing another act of kindness.
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