The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

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January 11, 2008

Owen Perry honored for life of achievement

PALESTINE — Recognized for his many contributions to his church and community as well as to the music industry, Palestine resident Owen Perry was honored Thursday during a standing room only ceremony at Alterra Sterling House.

Mayor Carolyn Salter called Perry a leader and a person of “honor, intelligence, courage and a super nice human being.”

“Palestine truly is a holy city because of people like Owen Perry,” Salter said.

Perry, 84, works on staff at Crockett Road Church of Christ visiting hospitals and nursing homes and teaching a Sunday school class. He and his wife Sybil celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on Wednesday. They have five children and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

“Owen Perry is my hero. All people, whether they are adults or kids, need heroes,” said Crockett Road Church of Christ member Jerry Thompson, who served as emcee for the celebration. “At his age, with his ailments, he still is constantly doing the work of the Lord.

“He has left footprints in my sand,” Thompson said. “I don’t know any man that I love as much as I do Owen Perry.”

Many people who spoke in Perry’s behalf during Thursday’s celebration, praised Perry for visiting them and others in the hospital, offering prayer and friendship.

“There’s many times when Owen is at the ER when nothing is wrong with him,” Thompson said. “Before too long, he is holding someone’s hand and saying prayer.”

Sharing a personal story, Thompson said while at the hospital with Perry visiting patients, he thought to himself, “What would Owen do?” when he saw a woman crying in the corner of the waiting room.

“I decided to go to talk to her as Owen does,” he said. “It turned out she couldn’t speak much English, but we managed to communicate. Her son was in a horrible car accident and they were about to unplug the machine.”

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