Roderic Alan Perry, age 68, passed away Thursday, June 13, 2019, from Lou Gehrig’s disease at Whatcom Hospice House. Rod was known for his historical knowledge of the Clearbrook community and sharing through tours to the public.
Rod was born Nov. 16, 1950, to parents William S. and Nola (Boice) Perry in Bellingham. He lived his whole life on the farm his family homesteaded nearly 108 years ago. Rod was remembered as one of the Perry brothers high school star basketball players from Nooksack Valley where he graduated in 1969. He then went on to graduate from Washington State University in Pullman with a BS degree in wildlife biology.
Rod was a dairy farmer at heart and this was a common thread that wove his life. He worked for BNSF Railway, played basketball, ran in the Masters, and biked in the Sea to Ski Race. Rod documented weather stats for NOAA, a family activity that would have run continuously 100 years this July. He preached sermons at Clearbrook Lutheran Church and served as church council member and treasurer among many other roles. He was a commissioner of Lakeside Cemetery, a board member of the Meadowbrook Water Association, a board member of the Sumas Water Improvement District and a board member for NVHS FFA.
Rod waited 53 years before meeting and marrying Nancy Mahaffey Kornelis at Clearbrook Lutheran Church. He gained six stepchildren. Nancy remembers when she met Rod she thought he was a little bit of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn and Peter Pan rolled into one. She quite often called him prophet or preacher Perry.
Rod is survived by Nancy, his wife of 15 years; sisters Ann Marie Hetterly, Carla Pederson (Brian), and Norma Jo Lambert (Jay), all of Whatcom County; brothers William B. Perry of Virginia and Robert Perry (Edie) of Oregon.
He was preceded in death by brother-in-law Warren Hetterly.
You are invited to join Rod’s family for his graveside service at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 22, in Lakeside Cemetery, 2402 Pangborn Rd., Lynden, followed by a Celebration of Life at 11:30 a.m. in the Sumas American Legion hall, 134 Harrison Ave., Sumas, with a reception following.
Memorials may be sent to Whatcom Hospice House, 2806 Douglas Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Gillies Funeral Home and Cremation Services.