The Rev. Dr. Frank C. Perry (retired, Burlington), age 96, died on September 5, 2020 after a battle of several weeks with coronavirus.
Dr. Perry was a graduate of Furman University, Greenville, SC; Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia, SC; Duke Divinity School, Durham, NC; and was awarded an honorary doctorate from Lenior-Rhyne University in Hickory, NC.
His college education was interrupted by World War II. He was inducted into the U.S. Army and continued a career in the Army Reserves and National Guard. Following the war, he was employed by Burroughs Corporation as an accounting machine salesman. He was ordained in 1955 and served at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Kinston, Holy Trinity in Chapel Hill, and started Church of Reconciliation in Wilmington. He was on a number of committees and boards of the North Carolina Synod, including many years on the Synod Council. Frank and Martha had a special interest in campus ministry and music. He was an amateur organist. Frank was a member of Holy Trinity, Chapel Hill.
Frank was active in the Civil Rights Movement before and during the 1960s and continued be an activist his entire life. He believed that “all people are children of God and infinitely precious, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or gender identity.” He treated everyone he met with dignity and respect.
He is survived by a daughter, Anne Brashear and husband, Bill, of Chapel Hill; a daughter, Lee Godfrey and husband, Tom, of Charlotte; a son, Frank, Jr, of Raleigh; five grandchildren, three great grandchildren, and two “adopted” daughters, Holly Stein and Judy Hannah of Ft. Collins, CO and Oslo, Norway.
A memorial service will be held sometime in the future when it is once again safe to assemble.
From Pastor Will Rose at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church and Lutheran Campus Ministry, Chapel Hill NC:
We are heartbroken over the death of the Rev. Dr. Frank Perry, pastor emeritus at Holy Trinity, Chapel Hill, but we are also very grateful for his life, faithful witness to the gospel, and his ministry at Holy Trinity and beyond. As a thank you for his ministry and witness, his family and Holy Trinity are requesting donations to the following memorials: HTLC- UNC Lutheran Campus Ministry Endowment Fund (which is named after Pastor Perry) and our newly-created Social/Racial Justice Fund. Pastor Perry was the catalyst for the way we do campus ministry at Holy Trinity. He participated in sit-ins on Franklin St. in the 1960s to fight against racial segregation, marched in the peace movement protesting against unjust wars, and advocated for LGBTQ civil rights. We feel these memorials line up perfectly with his ministry and legacy. You can make checks out to Holy Trinity (300 E. Rosemary St., Chapel Hill, NC 27514) and specify in the memo line which fund you’d like to give to. Or, give online at https://www.holytrinitychapelhill.org/. Please join us in celebrating Pastor Perry’s life in this way.