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Columbia Missourian

Jesse 'J.P.' Perry loved being outdoors with family, volunteering

By Ayano Shimizu
January 12, 2013 | 5:47 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Jesse "J.P." Perry loved his family. He was always surrounded by his loved ones, including five children and 30 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Family members would come visit him daily, his wife, Becky Perry, said. "There were a lot of birthday parties," she said. "Every day there was something going on."

Jesse "J.P." Perry died Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. He was 71.

He was born Nov. 29, 1941, to Jesse P. and Irene (Fortner) Perry.

"He loved to garden," Becky Perry said. "Our garden was always filled with flowers."

In the spring and summer, Mr. Perry was always outside in the garden with Becky Perry, planting flowers. His favorite flower was the rose.

"We were talking last week about what flowers to plant," Becky Perry said. 

Mr. Perry worked with several organizations, including Columbia Elks Lodge No. 594 and Ancient Landmark Lodge No. 357 to raise money for children with disabilities.

"He was very active," Becky Perry said.

Mr. Perry was the owner of J.P. Perry Wrecker Service from 1981 to 1997, and he later worked for Doug Perry Towing Service, where he worked until he died.

He enjoyed fishing and camping. Mr. Perry kept a camp route near Mark Twain Lake, and every weekend, they would go into nature.

"It was a special time," Becky Perry said.

They took several grandchildren and friends with them to enjoy the outdoors. 

Being with her husband without any distractions made camping so special, Becky Perry said.

Mr. Perry is survived by his wife, Becky Perry; five children, Laura Scott and her husband, Robbie, of Rocheport, Doug Perry and his wife, Annie, Keith Perry and his wife, Stephanie, John Perry and his wife, Tonya, and Jessie Perry, all of Columbia; his siblings, Betty Moss of Columbia, Robert Perry and his wife, Donna, of St. Clair, Dottie Manns and her husband, Jerry, of Ashland, Ruth Anderson and her husband, Curt, of Columbia, Katie Kingery and her husband, Ron, of Eldon, Lena Dunn of Columbia, and Joy Whitner and her husband, Mike, of Eldon; 17 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.

His parents and one daughter, Donna Hardin, died earlier.

Visitation will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a Masonic service at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. A service will follow at 2 p.m. 

Memorial donations can be made to the Shriner's Hospitals for Children, 2001 South Lindbergh Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63131 or to Grace Fellowship Church, 3184 Missouri 240 Fayette, MO 65248.

Condolences can be posted at