Thomas M. Perry, 81, of New Cumberland, died Saturday, March, 23, 2013 at home.
He was born November 20, 1931 in Philadelphia, PA, son of the late Thomas M., and Catherine (Toner) Perry. After graduating in 1950 from Northeast Catholic High School in Philadelphia, Thomas enlisted in the U.S. Army. Thomas proudly served his country as part of the Army’s 18th Airborne Corps, completed a tour in Germany, and was honorably discharged as a Sergeant in 1954. He returned home, and attended Drexel Institute of Technology. For his entire professional career, Thomas was a cartographer, starting in the private sector and ultimately spending 31 years at the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. When Thomas retired from the Department of Transportation in 1989, he was the Division Manager of the Cartographic Information Division. He was instrumental in taking the state’s mapping process from a handcrafted art into the computer age. He was an active member of St. Theresa Parish, New Cumberland for over 50 years. During that time, Thomas served the parish in various capacities, including as a CCD teacher, member of the lay advisory board for three pastors, Eucharistic Minister, Lector, and President of Holy Name Society, among others. He was a member of St. Theresa’s Little Flower Club. Thomas was also a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus in the Bishop Shanahan Assembly 917, and he held a variety of Director and Chairman positions at the state level and other leadership posts at the region, district and local levels in the organization. He was one of the first Grand Knights of the St. Theresa’s Council 8921, a former State Treasurer and a former District Deputy. As a Knight, Thomas was particularly proud of his work promoting Family Life and installing new councils around the state. Thomas also served six years on the Board of Directors for CPARC (Cumberland – Perry ARC). Additionally, he represented the Knights of Columbus while serving multiple years on the Board of Directors for the Arc of Pennsylvania. Both Arc organizations are devoted to the needs of intellectually and developmentally disabled children and adults and their families. Thomas was a lifetime member of the New Cumberland VFW Post 7415, and a lifetime member of the New Cumberland American Legion Post 143. Thomas enjoyed woodworking and travel, and he especially enjoyed spending time with his family.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 52 years, Matilda "Tillie" (Miller) Perry; four sons, Thomas M. Perry III (Lisa) of Pittsburgh, Michael A. Perry (Sharon) of Upper Allen Township, Timothy J. Perry (Brenda) of Mechanicsburg, and Mark A. Perry (DaleAnn) of Fairview Township; thirteen grandchildren, Michelle A. Perry, Rosemarie E. Perry, Thomas M. Perry IV, Joseph M. Perry, Alexandra C. Perry, Nicholas A. Perry, Elisa M. (Perry) Wise, Andrew T. Perry, Anthony J. Perry, Austin M. Perry, Joshua S. Perry, Todd E. Swartz and Lauryn K. Walker.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 AM on Wednesday in St. Theresa Catholic Church, 1300 Bridge Street, New Cumberland, with the Rev. Michael McFadden as celebrant. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Upper Allen Twp.
Viewing will be held 5 – 7 PM Tuesday in Parthemore Funeral Home and Cremation Services, New Cumberland, with the Scripture service beginning at 7 PM.
Memorial contributions may be made to the donor’s choice.