Gerald C. “Gerry” Perry, 83, passed away peacefully at home Tuesday morning, Aug. 23, 2011, following a brief illness.

Gerald C. “Gerry” Perry, 83, passed away peacefully at home Tuesday morning, Aug. 23, 2011, following a brief illness.


He was born in Dansville on Nov. 28, 1927, a son of the late Charles and Irene Caton Perry. He was also predeceased by a grandson Philip Perry and a sister Shirley Herrington. On Jan. 29, 1949, he was married to Doris Reeser Perry, who survives.


Gerry was a businessman all his life. He began with the operation of the concession stand at Stony Brook State Park. In 1954, he built and operated for the next 25 years Gerry’s Dairy Bar which is still in operation today as Middleton’s Frozen Custard in the original building. He owned and operated a used car dealership and Texaco gas station across from the Dairy Bar for several years, until in 1962, he purchased with Fred Thompson the Perry and Thompson Ford Dealership in Bath and continued that for 39 years. He was also an accomplished developer in the Bath retail markets, by developing the two shopping plazas where K-Mart, P&C and the McDonald’s still operate today. While spending winters in Florida, Gerry decided to develop a condominium association in Cape Coral Florida. It was there that he had the dream of developing an adult mobile home park which gave rise to the current Rolling Hills Mobile Home Park in Dansville, where 39 families call home.


He was a member of the Brae Burn Men’s Golf Association in Dansville and Palmetto Pine Golf Club in Cape Coral. He was a 65-year member of the Daniel Goho Post No. 87 of the American Legion, a member of the Loyal Order of the Moose No. 1130, a life member of the Dansville Fish and Game Club and the Protective’s Company of the Dansville Fire Volunteer Fire Department.


Gerry was always family man. After dropping out of high school he joined the U.S. Marine Corps. While serving he became very ill and was the only one of his group that survived the ride back to his ship. He was given the news that he would not survive very long after that incident and, proving them wrong, he remained alive and well for the next 65 years. This epitomizes the strength and determination of Gerry. Whenever anyone would tell him he couldn’t do something he tried very hard to prove them wrong. Gerry was a true entrepreneur, starting with nothing and having the vision to becoming a millionaire. That dream was realized only through hard work and perseverance. We remember Gerry saying, “If something went well it was a team effort. If something went wrong it was his fault.” He had a characteristic that most people do not have: common sense. In his office a sign says, “Some people look at something and say why; I look at things and say why not.” He would lay awake at night and analyze a situation and figure out how to make it better.


Surviving in addition to his wife Doris, are his children, Diane Sauerbier of Dansville and James (Jane) Perry of Cape Coral, Fla.; siblings, Ken (Mary Lou) Perry, Dorothy (Dick) Bennett, Eileen (Charlie) Wright, Gloria (Dick) Kreiley, Barbara (Nelson) Thorpe and Roger Herrington. Five grandchildren; Brian (Jodi) Sauerbier, Matthew (Heather) Sauerbier, Kevin Sauerbier, Jillian Perry, and Jacqueline (Daniel) Miller; two great-grandchildren, Perry Miller and Kinsley Sauerbier; a grand dog Molly and many nieces and nephews.


Friends may call 3–7 p.m. Sunday at Hindle Funeral Home, Inc., 271 Main St., Dansville, where military services will be at 10 a.m. Monday. Online remembrances may be left at hindlefuneralhome.com.


Memorials to the Livingston County Hospice, 3 County Campus, Mt. Morris, NY 14510 or the American Heart Association, P.O. Box 3049, Syracuse, NY 13220.