With great sadness and heavy hearts we share that Tom Perry “slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God” on Monday, August 21, 2017, at Newberry County Memorial Hospital.
Born Thomas Kennedy Perry on February 11, 1952 in Anderson, SC, he was the son of Thomas E. and Betty W. Perry. He was a honor graduate of East Rutherford High School in Forest City, NC where he was a two sport letterman. Tom continued his education at Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, NC where he obtained his bachelors and masters in English. He had a great love for the english language that was evident in his passion for writing. He was a published author of poetry, newspaper and magazine articles as well as four books: Textile League Baseball, Southern Textile Basketball Tournament: A History, 1921 – 1997, Just Joe: Baseballs' Natural, as told by his wife, A Friendship, a Dime, and a Dream: The biography of Willie Lee Buffington and a one-man play.
Tom was the human resource manager with American Fiber and Finishing until its closure and retired from Westview Behavioral Health as a Prevention Specialist administering a federal grant that targeted underage drinking and substance abuse.
Tom was a man of great faith who enjoyed worshiping with fellow believers at Silverstreet Lutheran Church and Sims Chapel Baptist Church.
He had a passion for youth, serving on the YoungLife Advisory Committee and a volunteer coach at Newberry Academy for over 20 years. He had served on the Board of Directors at Newberry Academy, the YMCA, and the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum in Greenville, SC.
The Lord provided Tom with a great gift for music which he shared throughout the community for many years. He was involved with the Newberry Community Choir for 24 years where he had the honor of writing numerous narrations and was often remembered for his portrayal of Jesus in the Easter performances. Tom likewise shared his love for music with the Master's Men Quartet, singing in the church choir and for weddings and funerals.
He is survived by his wife, Donna Adams Perry of the home and a much loved daughter, Meghan M. Perry of Atlanta, GA; his parents, Thomas and Betty Perry of Anderson; sister, Cathy (Robert) Balkcom of Lawrenceville, GA; nieces, Melody Balkcom and fianc é , Josh Cook of Loganville, GA and Marissa Balkcom of Lawrenceville, GA; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Loran and Lisa Adams of Stanleytown, VA and a niece, Nicole Adams of Lexington.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am Saturday, August 26, 2017, at the Newberry Academy Gymnasium by the Rev. J. Harry Crout, Rev.. H. Michael Williams and Mr. Jimmy Wiseman. Burial will follow in Silverstreet Lutheran Church Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday from 5:00 – 7:00 pm at McSwain-Evans Funeral Home. If you so desire donations may be made to Newberry Academy, 2055 Smith Road, Newberry, SC 29108 in the establishment of a scholarship.
Active pallbearers will be Scott Gardner, Mac Kirkpatrick, Tony Crowe, Ryan Crowe, Eric Crowe, Doug Heydt, Johnny Hayes and Pete Coleman.
Honorary pallbearers will be Craig Cromer, Mike Nola, Matt Rumpfeldt, Charles Weathers, present and past coaches and players of the Newberry Academy Varsity Basketball teams and the members of the Newberry County Coalition on Underage Drinking.
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