The van was packed, and we were ready to head back south to Florida after spending the Christmas holidays with our families in Cape Girardeau. Wife Lila got the word that Sis-in-Law Dee Perry was getting ready to add to the John Perry family.
She said “Florida can wait.”
Only after William “Wyatt” Perry arrived on December 29, 1993, could the wheels start turning.
The visit every parent fears
John said that when he looked out the door and saw the coroner standing there that it was going to be bad news. Wyatt had been killed in the pre-dawn hours in a car crash. He was 26.
William Wyatt Perry of Cape Girardeau died Monday, March 16. He was 26. Wyatt was born in Cape Girardeau on December 29, 1993. He was raised in Jackson and graduated from Jackson High School. He proudly served in the United States Marine Corps where he received an honorable discharge.
Wyatt was the baby of the family and with that came the privilege of having many nicknames. He was lovingly known as Wyatt Earp, Gah-wy, Prince Harry and Bjorn Ironsides. Though a man of many names, be was also a man of few words. He was kind, compassionate and had an amazing smile and laugh.
He was serious and silly, and kids adored him. He was always the “cool” uncle. His joy in life was spending time with his family and riding his Harley. His leading lady was his Australian Shepherd Hot Mess Bess.
Wyatt is lovingly survived by his parents John and Dee Perry, Grandmother Fern (Maw) Douglas, brothers Drew and John David Perry and his sister Laurie (Rocky) Everett, all of Cape Girardeau. He also leaves behind his nieces and nephews Madison and Gavin Perry, Fletcher Everett, Ashlynn Perry as well as many aunts, uncles and cousins. He wi1l be greatly missed by all.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents D.L.(Paw) Douglas Jr., William G. Perry and Lucille Perry.
Memorial visitation will be held Saturday, March 21 at 11 :00 AM until service time at McCombs Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Jackson.
Memorial service will follow at the funeral home at 1:00 pm.
In memory of Wyatt and in lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to VFW Post 3838. 1049 N. Kingshighway Street, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701.
We were usually 1,100 miles away from Cape, but we still managed to snap a lot of photos of young Wyatt. Click on any photo in the gallery to make it larger, then use the arrows on the left and right side to move to other photos. By the way, there are two pages to the gallery (something I didn’t notice at first).
A bunch of the Class of ’66 folks who came to Cape for their 70th Birthday Party reunion (because lots of them turned 70 in 2018), were hardcore Capaha Park Pool Rats (a description coined by Terry Hopkins).
They thought they’d take advantage of being in town to congregate at Jack Rickard’s house at the base of what used to be the Mississippi River traffic bridge.
Pool Rat Memories
Just about the time the pool was razed, I asked some of the former lifeguards and swim instructors to tell me what they remembered of their swimming days in the middle and late 1960s.
Many of the pictures in this gallery will be on exhibit at the Cape Girardeau County History Center across from the courthouse in Jackson. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 to 4. The exhibit will be up until around the end of October.
Some of the prints are available for purchase there.
Click on any of the photos to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move around.
Wife Lila and some of her friends threw together an impromptu 50th class reunion in 2016. They realized that most of them are turning 70 years old in 2018, so it was a good time to have a 70th Birthday Party.
Marilyn Maevers Miller of Charleston and the Class of 66 Lunch Bunch handled the local logistics and provided excellent eats.
The classmates gathered at an outdoor pavilion in South County Park Friday night. The photo shows about 50 attendees, and even more might have missed being in the group shot. Click on the image to make it large enough to see faces. Anyone who appears in the group shot above has my express permission to reproduce it for personal use.
Singing broke out
Bill Jacqie Jackson brought his karaoke equipment from his South Florida post-retirement job, and attracted an active group of “singers” toward the end of the evening.
The good thing about attending a group 70s Birthday Party is that all of the people who would yell, “Turn that music down!” are AT the party.
A cold front moved through on Saturday, so Bob Ward offered up space in the Elk’s Club to get the group out of rain and cold winds.