Tom Perry Obituary

Tom  Perry
Tom Perry

July 9, 1952 - August 10, 2019
Born in Bourne, Massachusetts
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa
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DES MOINES — Thomas Frederick Perry, a Renaissance man who loved family, friends and life, died on Aug. 10, 2019, at age 67.

Born in Bourne, Massachusetts, on July 9, 1952, Tom grew up in Taunton, Massachusetts, graduating from Taunton High School in 1970 and Bridgewater State College in 1974. He was a four-year football starter in high school, playing on the offensive and defensive lines, and a four-year starting guard and team captain in college. He was a member of the Associated Press All-New England team in 1973.

He was a journalist for 38 years, starting as a reporter at the Groton, Connecticut, News (1974-76); sports reporter, sports editor and assistant managing editor at the Norwich, Connecticut, Bulletin (1976-85); sports editor and local columnist at the Courier-News, Bridgewater, New Jersey (1985-97); features editor and local columnist, Green Bay, Wisconsin, Press-Gazette (1997-2004); and state editor and features writer, focusing on food, at the Des Moines Register (2005-12). He loved meeting people and telling their stories, and won state and national writing awards.

He enjoyed good conversation, often with a cigarette and drink in hand. He liked to read and write about history; to cook, especially Italian dishes and his signature paella; and to travel. He made many trips to Mexico, Italy, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and other international destinations. He had a gift for languages and for making friends wherever he lived or traveled.

He was preceded in death by his father, Manuel Nunes “Buck” Perry; his mother, Leona Bourque; and his brother, Jeffrey Perry. He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Carol Hunter; his brother, Michael Perry of Taunton; and sisters, Brenda (Bill) Finnigan of Taunton, and Donna (Steven) Parker of Fort Meade, Florida.

Tom and Carol owe special thanks to Tom’s caregivers during his three years of debilitation, especially Robynn Gudbaur, and also Penny Scroggins, Crystal Kihanya and Paige Fisher.

Visitation will be at Iles Westover Chapel, 6337 Hickman Road, Des Moines, from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18, with a 4 p.m. celebration of life immediately following.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the EMBARC refugee services organization or the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa.






Memorial Visitation
Westover Funeral Home
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Sunday, August 18, 2019
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Memorial Service
Westover Funeral Home
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Sunday, August 18, 2019
4:00 PM


Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa
1031 Office Park Road Ste 1
West Des Moines, IA 50265
EMBARC refugee services
2309 Euclid Avenue (Polk County River Place)
Des Moines, Iowa United States 50311
EMBARC is a grassroots, community-based, non-profit organization founded by refugees and for refugees.