Perry White, 68, of Albuquerque, N.M. and previously of Watertown and Roxbury, died June 20, 2020 of cancer.
Born March 4, 1952 at Margaretville Hospital, Margaretville, he was the son of Douglas L. and Marjory Lovejoy White.
Perry spent his formative years in Tucson, Ariz., where he roamed the desert every minute that he wasn’t in school or asleep. His family returned to Roxbury when he was 12, and in 1969, he graduated from Roxbury Central School, where he played four years of baseball and soccer and two years of basketball. In the Catskills, he learned to fish and hunt and spent countless hours in the woods and fields.
Perry was a good student, graduating fourth in his class to the amazement of a number of his teachers. He spent a year majoring in journalism at the University of Arizona before dropping out due to health problems in his family. Nevertheless, his long-held desire to work in the newspaper business started in 1972 when he was hired as the darkroom technician at the Stamford Mirror-Recorder. While he became good at darkroom technician things, he longed to write so he started covering sports for the paper. He was named sports editor in 1975, then editor in 1977.
In the ensuing years, Perry edited the Cobleskill Times-Journal, the Delaware County Times, and was news editor for Eagle Newspapers of Syracuse, publisher of seven suburban weeklies. In 1996, he was hired as swing editor for the Watertown Daily Times, which covers four counties in Northern New York. In 2002 he was named state editor, in 2006 city editor and in 2015 managing editor. He retired from that position in October 2018, and moved to Albuquerque the following June to be near his stepchildren, and to escape the infernal Northeast winters.
He was at times an irascible editor, but forged many lasting friendships with reporters and editors with whom he worked. He was dedicated to the ethics of journalism, leaving two jobs because that standard could not be met. At the Watertown Daily Times, he found a home with a publishing family as dedicated to truth and honesty as he.
Perry was a lucky man indeed, because for 42 years he went to work to do the thing he loved the most – newspapering. He often said it was amazing he was paid for such fun, though never in the hearing of a publisher.
In 2000, he married the love of his life, Pamela Merett Alires. They had many wonderful years, until Pamela was diagnosed with dementia with Lewy bodies in 2014. Her condition began to deteriorate rapidly in 2016, and she died at Hospice of Jefferson County in May 2017, slipping away as Perry held her hand.
He had three prior marriages before meeting Pamela.
An only child who sired no children, Perry is survived by his three beloved stepchildren, Megan Alires Berman and husband Eugene, Dallas; and Sarah Alires and partner Joshua Gann, and Chris Alires and wife Emma Gibson, of Albuquerque; as well as three step-grandchildren.
He is also survived by his first wife, Susan Shultis, of Surprise, Ariz.
There will be no services and Perry will be cremated and his ashes spread in the Catskills. A celebration of his life will be held in Roxbury at a future date, where no doubt many hilarious stories of his high jinks and inanities will elicit the belly-laughs that he loved to hear.