Harrison Herbert Perry, Jr. was born on April 11, 1936 in Harrison, Arkansas, the son of the late Harrison Herbert and Edna Jane Nicholson Perry.
Herb called Savannah, Tennessee his home all his life, with the only exception being the time he spent living in Memphis, Tennessee while studying at Memphis State University from 1954 until 1958. He earned his bachelor's degree with a major in business administration and a minor in art. He was a lifetime member of the First United Methodist Church in Savannah and was christened there in 1937.
On January 31, 1959, he was united in marriage to Joyce Franks, who survives.
Mr. Perry honorably served his country in the United States Air Force Reserve from 1959 until 1965. After his service in the military, Herb worked in retail, home sales and construction, and real estate. He spent 30 years working at family business Savannah Furniture Exchange where he started in delivery and then moved into every aspect of the enterprise including sales and appliance repair and then management and buying and then as co-owner and president. Herb and his father, H.H. Perry, put together one of the largest American Indian artifact collections in the south, practically making a museum out the Savannah Furniture Exchange. From 1965 until 1980, he worked as owner and president of Herb Perry Custom Built Homes, Inc. where he was a state-licensed contractor, builder, and seller of new homes in Hardin, Wayne, McNairy, and Chester counties. Herb was a founding board member of the Hardin County Bank and Savannah Savings and Loan Association. He continued to be an active member until he retired in 1982. After his retirement, he went on to own and operate Herb Perry Real Estate, Inc. where he was broker and owner and his wife, Joyce, was an affiliate broker.
In 1978, Bill Dance of fishing fame invited Herb to fish with him when he filmed his television show in Hardin County. Dance, Herb, and fellow local bass fisherman Bobby Hall went on to start Pickwick Bassmasters, an affiliate of Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (BASS), and began a regular schedule of club tournaments that still continue today. When Miller Brewing Company held a national invitational bass tournament in 1980 on Pickwick Lake, Herb won first place.
Mr. Perry enjoyed volunteering in numerous local organizations including the founding of the Savannah Art Guild. It was there where he developed his artistic skills in variety of fine art mediums, particularly portraiture and painting scenes of the Civil War and landscapes of his beloved Tennessee River countryside.
In 1997, Herb joined Jackson Roadrunners in Jackson, Tennessee and Tennessee River Athletic Association in Florence, Alabama. He ran over 30 races per year, from 5Ks to marathons, and averaged 30 miles per week in training. In total, he logged thousands of miles and earned dozens of trophies in various area events.
Genealogy also captured a great deal of Mr. Perry's spare time over many years. He was a life-time member and long-time vice-president of The Hardin County Historical Society, where he meticulously researched and wrote volumes of articles for the Hardin County Historian quarterly journal and helped maintain the Tennessee Room of the Hardin County Library. In 2000, he became a member of Sons of Revolution, Tennessee Chapter, and went on to hold the state record for proven ancestors having fought in the Revolutionary War, 14.
Herb was a life-long member of The Grand Lodge of Tennessee, Hardin County Lodge, and was recently honored for 60 years of service there.
Harrison Herbert Perry, Jr. departed this life on September 15, 2023 in Savannah, Tennessee at the age of 87 years, 5 months, and 4 days.
Herb is survived by his wife of 64 years, Joyce F. Perry of Savannah, Tennessee; sons, Harrison Herbert Perry III of Chattanooga, Tennessee and Matthew Nicholson Perry and his wife Kim of Lebanon, Tennessee; daughters, Miriam Perry Lee of Knoxville, Tennessee and Vivian Perry Bland and her husband Jay of Marietta, Georgia; sisters, Marilyn Perry Qualls and Karenina Perry Kemp, both of Savannah, Tennessee; and grandchildren, Tad Lee of Knoxville, Tennessee and Alec Lee of New York City, New York.
Private services to be held.