Dr. Keith E. Perry, 82, passed away on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, at his home in Auburn, Indiana.
He was born on July 10, 1938, in Wartburg, Tennessee, to Eston and Willie Mae (Heidel) Perry. They have both preceded him in death.
Keith graduated from Crown Point High School in 1956, where he was active in Hi-Y, Science Club, FFA and served as a class officer. He also competed in varsity football, basketball, and track.
After graduation, he attended Indiana State Teachers College where he majored in biology and health science education. He was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, where he held the offices of pledge trainer and house manager, and participated in other fraternity activities. He was a distinguished member of Omega Alpha Delta Science Honorary.
After obtaining his degree, he returned to teach biology at Lake Central High School, where he served as Science Department chairman. While teaching, Keith did post-graduate studies in botany at University of New Hampshire; mathematics and physics at Purdue University; science laboratory techniques at DePaul University in Chicago; and biology and organic chemistry at Indiana State University.
During his tenure at Lake Central High School, he served as the Science Fair director, a Calumet Regional Science Fair Committee member and presented numerous workshops on laboratory techniques for elementary school teachers.
He was listed in the publication, “Leaders of American Elementary and Secondary Education”. He received the Westinghouse Award of Honor for Meritorious Work with Science Students and was a finalist for the Indiana Outstanding Biology Teacher of the Year Award. He also was president of the Lake Central Teachers Association and served as chairman of the teachers association’s negotiating team.
In 1976, Keith earned a fellowship to study for his Ph.D at Indiana State University in Education Administration. During that time, Keith served as a member of the Indiana State University Bureau of School Services Team, which studied and made recommendations regarding the educational programs, facilities, and financial status of school corporations throughout Indiana.
After obtaining his doctorate in 1978, Dr. Perry was employed by DeKalb County Central United School District as a building level administrator, later becoming business manager, and then superintendent of schools. During his tenure at DeKalb Central, Dr. Perry served as president of the Northeast Indiana Study Council, a member of several North Central Evaluation teams, and on numerous committees of Northeast Indiana Special Education Cooperative and Vocational Education Cooperative.
The teaching profession has been a tradition in the Perry family for many years. His wife, Phyllis, is a retired high school teacher and guidance director; his daughter, Karen, was an elementary teacher; and his mother and aunts were also former elementary teachers. Dr. Perry is a firm believer that obtaining a sound education is one of the keys to achieving a successful life. Supporting this belief, he is a regular contributor to the Indiana State University Scholarship Foundation, as well as, providing tuition scholarships to several deserving students.
Dr. Perry and his family have lived in Auburn, Indiana, for more than 40 years. He has served the community in numerous ways as an officer and member of the Auburn Foundation Board, president of the YMCA board of Directors, a former member and president of Auburn Lions Club, as well as Northeast Indiana Zone chairman, and chairman of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum Building Committee.
Dr. Perry is a member of Auburn United Methodist Church and has served as a member and staff/parish committee, chairman of the Council of Ministries, and chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Keith married Phyllis A. Nass on May 26, 1962, in Huntingburg, Indiana.
Surviving are his wife of 58 years, Phyllis A. Perry, of Auburn; daughter and son-in-law, Karen and Don Muckenfuss, of Auburn; two granddaughters, Anna Muckenfuss, of Silver Springs, Maryland, and Sara Muckenfuss, of Auburn; brother and sister-in-law, Eston and Alice Ann Perry, of Terre Haute; and a sister and brother-in-law, Sandra and Don Loeffler, of Madison, Wisconsin.
Services will be at 5 p.m., on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020, at Feller and Clark Funeral Home, 1860 Center St., Auburn, with the Rev. Mark Fenstermacher and Rev. Wilbur Yates officiating.
Burial will take place at Woodlawn Cemetery in Auburn.
Visitation will be from 2-5 p.m., on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020, prior to the service at the funeral home.
Memorials may be directed to the Dr. Keith E. Perry Memorial Scholarship. Please make checks payable to the Community Foundation DeKalb County and write in the memo line, Dr. Keith E. Perry Memorial Scholarship. The mailing address for the Community Foundation DeKalb County is P.O. Box, 111, Auburn, IN 46706.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dr. Keith E. Perry, please visit our floral store.