Wyatt Perry 1993 – 2020

Wyatt Perry at going-away party before heading off to the Marines 07-14-2012

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.

Wyatt’s obituary

Perry family members who have served in the armed forces

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 chilling in Florida June 11, 2009

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.

Wyatt with his Dad, John, 6/24/2009

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.

Perry family 9/5/2001

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.

Remembering Wyatt

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).

Marty Riley’s Glenn House Exhibit

Marty Riley art exhibit 04-01-2016Marty Perry Riley, Wife Lila’s sister, was the featured artist at the landmark Glenn House on April 1. I have long admired her work, but I didn’t realize she had done so many pieces. She is a member of the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri and the Visual Arts Cooperative, and a frequent winner of contests.

Marty, a retired RN, was the person we’d call when Mother needed help with something over the years, and Wife Lila had her number on the speed dial whenever one of the kids broke or bent something. Her’s was the voice of comfort that would say, “Don’t worry. Just stick Adam’s arm back on with super glue and a couple bandages and he’ll be fine.”

She likes street painting, too

Marty Perry Riley LW Street Painting Festival 02-27-2011Her work isn’t confined to canvas, either. She’s been down to Lake Worth, Florida, a couple of times to participate in the annual Street Painting Festival, one of the biggest in the country.

Picture This

2015 CHS Reunion 08-01-2015I was going to write something profound about the 2015 reunion, but I need to let my thoughts simmer for awhile.

Maybe it’s my family’s brush with mortality lately; maybe it’s looking at that looping series of photos of our classmates who have graduated to the next level; maybe it’s just that the doggone stairs in the Arena building seem steeper than they used to. So, rather than post the rather melancholy thoughts that are floating around in my head right now, let’s just go straight to some happy pictures of the celebration we had.

2015 Reunion photo gallery

Click on any picture to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the gallery. There are a lot of images of the photographer herding cats to set up the group shots. I’ll add that job to the list of career opportunities to avoid.

Taking a Break

Ken - Mary - David and Mark Steinhoff in Lutheran Home 04-20-2015After more than a year of posting seven days a week, you may have noticed that I’ve been slacking off.

This has been a rough winter for Mother: she had her heart shocked back into rhythm in February, her pacemaker was replaced and she’s been sucking down supplemental oxygen to help her breathe (her oxygen saturation is higher than mine, so it must be working). In addition to the miserable weather that kept her trapped in the house, her circle of friends is getting smaller and smaller, which has made her a bit gloomy.

Regaining her strength

Different combinations of Mark, David and I have been keeping her company, but we determined that we didn’t have the expertise to get her back up to speed. She’s moved into the Lutheran Home temporarily so she can get physical therapy and gain some weight back. She’s got plenty of muscles from mowing the lawn, blowing leaves and going up and down the basement steps, but she’s working on learning how to use those muscles more effectively when you’re 93, going on 94.

I like the Lutheran Home

I’ve done quite a few stories over the years about healthcare facilities, including some that are no longer in business in Cape County. Most of the stories, sad to say, were about neglect and abuses.

The first thing I noticed about the Lutheran Home was that it didn’t smell. It’s clean and shiny.

The staff is friendly and caring. I’m usually there from late afternoon, through the evening meal and wind down watching a movie with Mother until she falls asleep, so I’ve had plenty of time over the last couple of months to get to know the folks who work there. They are stretched a little thin, but that’s a management issue, not anything the individual nurses, aides and therapists can control. I’m impressed.

Cards and letters

2015-05-20 MLS cards_20150520_164100385Road Warriorette Jan put the word out to her wide network of friends that she knew someone who would love to get some cards in the mail. Before long, Mother was getting batches of unique and interesting cards from all over the country. It has certainly given her something to look forward to.

If you’d like to send her a note, here’s her address until she gets back home.

Mary Steinhoff

Lutheran Home Room 217

2825 Bloomfield Road

Cape Girardeau, MO 63703

Back to work

I’m way behind on some projects, but I’ll try to post to this blog a little more regularly. Thanks to you folks who sent me email saying you missed seeing the morning posts.

I also need to thank Marty Riley and Rachael Criddle who have been a tremendous help over the past few months. It’s nice to have folks around who can explain medicines and procedures to you in non-doctorspeak.