WILTON – Joseph O. Perry, affectionately called “Joe”, “Orman”, or “Gramps”, 98 of Wilton, passed away on Wednesday, May 11 2021 at his home in Wilton, surrounded by his family. He was born in Wilton on November 1, 1922, son of Lena and Dan Perry. He was one of five children. He attended school and then at the early age of 13 he was working full-time in the woods at the end of a Bucksaw.
On November 17, 1942 he married Ethel M. (Libby) Perry in the Methodist Parsonage in Wilton. Together they would raise 3 girls and create a foundation of love, strength, faith, and family that would filter through all who had the privileged of knowing them. He had a work ethic like no other and over the years had maintained employment at the shipyard in S. Portland before the draft, in later years retiring from G.H. Bass in Wilton, and finally as a bus driver for S.A.D. # 9 in Farmington. He continued to work post retirement as a driver for Western Maine Transportation and many other volunteer organizations well into his 70’s.
He was a proud WWII Veteran, serving as an Amphibious Engineer in the Army, he earned the Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic Theatre Campaign Medal with Bronze Arrowhead, and the Philippine Liberation Medal. He had a zest for life and was an avid outdoorsman. He spent many seasons hunting, fishing, and camping in Maine, a state he constantly reminded us, we were blessed to live in.
Having lived his entire life in the town of Wilton, the only other place he truly loved was a small Wilderness Campground near Baxter State Park, Nesowadnehunk. He, along with many friends and family found this to be a sanctuary and many memories were made upon the shores of that special place.
He had a love for the horse and dog races, chess, cribbage, poker, card playing, running (until almost 80), walking and bowling. His extremely competitive nature was ever present and he could turn any activity into a “game”. He was a very prominent member of both the Legion and the Freemasons. He was also a baptized member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Farmington. He led a life of service and devotion and was an inspiration to all who were blessed to know him.
He is survived by daughter JoAnn Gould, and her husband David Gould, currently at Sandy River Rehabilitation Center; grandchildren, Clifton Tardif and his wife Karla of Oklahoma, Christi Bubier of Jay, Scott Gould, and his wife Mindy of Washington, Libbi Magoon, and her wife Michelle of Oakland, and Betsy Mancine, and her husband Dominic of Wilton; great grandchildren, Courtney, Antyna, Merritt, Rhiannon, Emma, and Joey; Siblings Irene Weld of Dixfield, Robert Perry of Farmington.
He was predeceased by his wife Ethel in 2007; daughter Judith Tardif in 1997; daughter Meredith Farrington in 2016; grandson Joseph “BJ” Gould in 2014; sister Doris Cushman in 2020; and brother Donald Perry in 2021.
Graveside Funeral Services with US Army Honors and Masonic services conducted by Wilton Lodge #156 will be held Monday, May 17th, at 2pm at Lakeview Cemetery in Wilton. Relatives and friends are invited to call at the Wiles Remembrance Center: Adams~McFarlane Chapel, 137 Farmington Falls Road, Farmington on Monday, May 17 from 11-12pm. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that those who desire, consider memorial gifts in Joe’s memory to Androscoggin Home Healthcare + Hospice, 15 Strawberry Avenue, Lewiston, ME 04240 or at www.androscoggin.org. Memories and a memorial video may be shared in his Book of Memories at www.wilesrc.com.