Donald Perry Jr.
Saturday, September 25, 2021- 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Howell Funeral Home Chapel - 10220 Guilford Road - Jessup, Maryland 20794
Donald Macklin Perry, Jr. was born in Baltimore MD on March 25, 1941 to Edley (Jackson) and Donald M. Perry, Sr. who both pre-deceased him. His beloved sister, Sharyn (Perry) Fernando and special nephew, Melvin, also predeceased him. He died on June 21, 2021 in Baltimore, MD.
Donald lived his early life in Baltimore, MD and Peekskill, NY and also spent time in Poughkeepsie NY, at the home of his Uncle Pete and Aunt Helen (Jackson) and family.
Donald graduated from Frederick Douglas High School in Baltimore MD in 1956 and was one of a few Black men to first attend Johns Hopkins U. (matriculating at 16 years old) in 1956 until his graduation in 1961.
As a Germanic philology undergraduate major at Johns Hopkins, he began the foundation of his polyglotism. He attributed his language skills to the foundation he gained learning Latin (for four years) in his (segregated) high school in Baltimore. He also did graduate studies at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.
After graduating from college, Donald worked in a library and also taught Russian, German and music as a substitute teacher in New York, while looking for a permanent full time job. He began his nearly 34 year career in the Federal government with the Internal Revenue Service in New York City, later moving to Washington, DC to become a budget analyst at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and also doing a tour in Zaire (now Republic of the Congo) to assist their government in setting up a budget system. He ultimately rose to the Director of Civil Rights of the FAA Eastern Region, based at JFK airport in New York, before his retirement in the early 1990s.
He was a lover of opera and was always listening to opera in multiple languages. He is fondly remembered singing Wagner’s Flying Dutchman in German as though it was commonplace.
Donald was a gourmet and an excellent cook. He especially enjoyed eating out at some of the best restaurants wherever he lived. Many friends and family were fortunate to join him for some of those dinners. When he came through the door at his favorite restaurants, many waiters hoped he would be seated at their table. He was a very charming patron and always a generous tipper! He also engaged in deep conversation about a host of different topics. He was entertaining and witty and had a fierce sense of humor. He was sometimes “wickedly’ funny and you knew something hilarious would follow the smile/expression on his face!
When Donald left Washington DC and moved to Hempstead, NY, his ability to speak Spanish helped him tutor and teach English as a Second Language and provide assistance for many in his community in Hempstead. He loved children and was always supportive and contributed to their educational welfare through his tutoring. In Hempstead, he joined the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints and later continued that affiliation when he moved to Maryland.
He cooked many meals for family and friends, but especially for the young missionaries/elders from the Church, who also looked out for his welfare and checked in on him regularly, helping with whatever assistance he needed, especially as he aged. He would often remark that he introduced the missionaries/elders to food they had not eaten before and how he enjoyed cooking for them. When possible, he would treat them to the local restaurants, something they may not have experienced “back home.” He loved to introduce young people to the “finer things in life.”
One of the church members, Dr. Nate Wright, was particularly comforting in his last days, as he provided blessings to Donald, while he was at both the Howard County and Johns Hopkins Hospitals. With all the COVID restrictions on the number of allowed visitors, it was so wonderful for Dr. Wright to be able to visit him and not keep family members from visiting him as well.
Donald recently fought two bouts with cancer but was very hopeful for the future at his time of passing. We all expected that he would be going home and resuming a life full of some sense of normalcy.
Donald leaves behind to mourn him, his Godson, Dr. Brandon Jackson Baird, his special cousin Linda Jackson and his “other siblings,” Peter, Lois, Lorraine and other family and friends, including his very special friends, Pauline Jensen and Daniel Anderson, who were there with him until the end. Others from the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints also kept him in their thoughts and prayers during his extended illness and the family is grateful for their support.
In addition, he leaves behind a half-sister, Jacqueline, and nephews Daniel, Carlton and Christopher. and was predeceased by his other half-sister, Carol Ann. He will be missed by all but we all have surely benefitted from our relationships with Donald, no matter how long. May he rest in peace.
A memorial service/celebration of life will be held for Donald on September 25, 2021 from 2-4 pm at the Howell Funeral Home at 10220 Guilford Road in Jessup, Maryland.
In lieu of flowers, gifts in Donald's memory may be directed to support Head and Neck Cancer at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. Please make checks payable to Johns Hopkins University. Gifts may be mailed with a memo indicating that this gift is in memory of Donald M. Perry to the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, PO Box 17029 Baltimore, MD 21297-1029 or you can make a gift online at www.hopkinscancerresearch.org