Retired Reading Police Officer Herb Perry, 88, will be laid to rest with military honors on Saturday.
Visiting hours will be held Friday, Feb. 7, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Douglass, Edgerley and Bessom Funeral Home, 25 Sanborn St., at the corner of Woburn Street.
Officer Perry died Wednesday morning at the Tufts Medical Center in Boston from complications with Leukemia.
A lifelong resident of Reading, Officer Perry was born in the town on Jan. 21, 1926, the son of the late Gardner A. and Ethel (Kelsey) Perry.
He was the husband of the late Arlene M. (Cullington) Perry and brother of the late Charles Duane Perry and Eliot Kelsey Perry.
Officer Perry is survived by his daughter, Joanne M. Perry and her husband Grahame E. Pratt of Boalsburg, PA; sister-in-law Janice A. (Cullington) Greene of NH; brother-in-law Stanley (Buster) Cullington of OR; and brother-in-law Ralph Cullington of ME; and nieces and nephews: Charles Perry, Philip Perry, Norman Perry and their families all of MA; James R. Cullington and family of TX; Edward D. Cullington and family of OR; Dana and George Dahl, Deborah A. Wall, Leslee and Joe Steele, and Jennifer Perry all of NH.
To join the war effort, Officer Perry enlisted in the Navy in 1943 at age 17 and was assigned to 126th Naval Construction Battalion (See Bees). He was a 3rd class machinist by his 19th birthday, serving in the South Pacific and was a landing barge operator and was involved in the battles of the Marshall Islands, Eniwetok Atoll, Engebi Island and Okinawa.
Officer Perry served on the Reading Police force for 38 years, and was known to business owners and residents all over Reading Square.
“He was your definition of a small town police officer,” a woman said on the Reading Police Facebook page last night.
Another resident said, “It was always so reassuring seeing him patrolling the downtown area. He would always have a smile and nice greeting for everyone and would always stop to talk to me and my young sons. He was a wonderful role model. Sort of reminded me of Andy Griffith in Mayberry.”
After his retirement, Officer Perry worked at the Reading Auto Body Shop and was a member of the Good Samaritan Masonic Lodge A.F. & A.M. in Reading. He was also a member of the Aleppo Shrine and Royal Arch Chapter, as well as the Old South United Methodist Church.
According to family and friends, Officer Perry enjoyed traveling, automobiles, meeting people and talking about their lives.
A graveside Service with military honors will be held on Saturday, Feb. 8 at Forest Glen Cemetery, Forest Glen Road, Reading at 11 a.m. Visiting hours will be held at the Douglass, Edgerley and Bessom Funeral Home, 25 Sanborn St. (corner of Woburn St.) Reading on Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. A Masonic Service will be held by the officers and members of Good Samaritan Lodge at 7 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Officer Perry’s memory to the Reading Patrolman’s Association, P.O. Box 871, Reading, MA 01867; Good Samaritan Lodge A.F. & A.M.; P.O. Box 358, Reading, MA 01867; or TUFTS Medical Center Trust, 800 Washington St., Boston, MA 02111.