Arthur Anthony Perry, formerly of Oak Bluffs, died Dec. 6 in Reno, Nev., after a courageous battle with bladder cancer. He was 71. The dedicated physicians and nurses at the Reno Veterans Hospital cared for him.
Born and raised in Oak Bluffs, Arthur had fond childhood memories, including diving for coins with his friends as the ferry came into the Oak Bluffs pier. He attended the Oak Bluffs schools and graduated from the Oak Bluffs High School class of 1959.
He joined the U.S. Army where he served his country for the next eight years, both in Germany and Viet Nam, where he was injured several times during combat.
Arthur rarely talked about his time in the service. On one occasion, however, he told the story of his brother Matt (Marvin), who wrote him regularly. A number of letters from Marvin arrived all at the same time. With no time to read them, Arthur stuffed them in his back pocket as he left on a mission. His tank came under fire and Arthur was hit with shrapnel on his backside. He would always say as only Arthur could: “My brother Matt saved my [rear end].” He was injured a few more times and was honorably discharged and awarded the Purple Heart.
Arthur was employed by ComElectric and retired after many years of service. He was an avid golfer and full member at Farm Neck Golf Club. Winter golf was enjoyed at Myrtle Beach with his many friends.
He was married to Jessica Perry for 25 years before he relocated to Reno. They remained friends and he traveled frequently between the two places enjoying his grandchildren and nephews and nieces. Everyone looked forward to his visits and tales until failing health prevented him from traveling.
In addition to his former wife, he is survived by sisters Rita Sierpinski of Connecticut and Jane Pothier of Rhode Island; brothers Lester Perry of California and Edward Perry of Florida; stepsons, Paul Bettencourt of Oak Bluffs, Mark Bettencourt and his wife, Becky Cournoyer Bettencourt; grandsons, Connor, Evan and Roan, all of West Tisbury; as well as his nephew David Pothier, wife, Terry, and godson, DJ, of Oak Bluffs.
He will be missed by many other numerous nieces and nephews throughout the country.
He was predeceased by his parents Irene and Lester Perry, his sisters Doris Maciel and Marilyn Gabut, brothers Robert Perry and Matt (Marvin) Perry, stepdaughter Theresa Bettencourt and his niece Jena Pothier.
A graveside service with full military honors will be held at 11 a.m. on May 3 at the National Cemetery at Otis Air Force base in Bourne.
Donations may be made in his memory to the American Cancer Society by calling 1-800-227-2345.