John Howard Perry, 79, of Muskogee, Oklahoma passed away Sunday, October 23, 2016 at his home with his family by his side. He was born December 8, 1936 in Muskogee, Oklahoma to John and Josephine (Seward) Perry. He spent most of his life living on the farm started by his grandfather north of Muskogee.
In his early years, John was very active in 4-H and won numerous awards and trips in various project areas including three state awards and a national award in crop production that took him to both Chicago and New York to be recognized for his achievements and induction into the Oklahoma 4-H Hall of fame. After graduating from Muskogee High School in 1955, John continued his education at Oklahoma A&M receiving a B.S. in Agriculture Economics and minor in chemistry in 1959. While there, he also became a member of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity and began his masonic career, later becoming a 32 degree mason and Shriner. In 1962 he completed his master's degree in Adult Education from Oklahoma State University. Later in 1969, John was chosen for the Oklahoma Outstanding 4-H Alumni award.
After her graduation from high school, John married Dorothy Goodall of Haskell on June 22, 1957. Once he received his bachelor's degree in 1959, they both went to Towaoc, Colorado where he began a job as 4-H agent for the Ute Mountain Ute Indian tribe. While there, he began work on his master's degree before returning to Stillwater so he could complete it and Dorothy could complete her teaching degree. In 1963, they both return west, this time to work for the Navajo Nation where he would work as the 4-H rural adult educator until the death of his mother in 1966 brought them back to Muskogee. John then began his career in farming, and eventually he was farming 1,200 acres and raising cattle and sheep. He had been introduced to sheep when he was put in charge of sheep operations while working for the Navajo. John eventually dispersed his cattle and focused on sheep, building a flock of over 600 head. Over his career, John was president of the Oklahoma Sheep and Wool Growers Association, twice state soybean production champion, and was active in local and state livestock competitions. John helped start some livestock events that are still active today including: the annual Oklahoma Black and White sheep show and sale.
John never met a stranger and seldom could refuse help to anyone no matter the need. He loved his family, friends, the land he farmed, Oklahoma State University, and he loved to dance. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
He leaves his wife of 59 years, Dorothy (Goodall) Perry; son, Brian and his wife Tammy Perry; and his grandchildren, John Tyler and Georgia Perry.
In lieu of flowers, John requested that donations be made to: MD Anderson Cancer Center 1515 Holcombe Blvd. Houston, Texas 77030. https://gifts.mdanderson.org.
A memorial service honoring John's life will be 2:00 p.m., November 1, 2016 at Cornerstone Funeral Home Chapel in Muskogee with Reverend David Burris officiating.
Funeral services are under the direction of Cornerstone Funeral Home and Crematory, 1830 N. York Street, Muskogee, OK. Condolences may be made to the family online at www.cornerstoneofmuskogee.com.
Published on October 29, 2016