October 1, 2022

Dudley Phelps Perry


Dudley Phelps Perry, also known as Peter Dudley Phelps, passed away on August 27, 2022, at the Crystal Lake care facility in Pascoag. He was 92.

Born and raised in his grandparents' home in Rumford, Dudley grew up a few blocks from his high school sweetheart and the love of his life, Elizabeth Aldrich, whom he would marry. While they were dating, after dropping her off, Dudley would signal he'd arrived home by switching his kitchen light on and off, which Liz could see from her parents' house.

A 1950 graduate of East Providence High School, where he was president of the Rifle Club, he graduated from New England Tech as a boilermaker.

He served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a gunner during the Korean War, and as a constable with the East Providence Police Department.

Dudley worked in the meat packing industry as a truck driver and meat packer at multiple companies, including Wilson Foods and Newton Packing Company, both in Providence. A citizens-band radio or "CB" enthusiast, his handle was "Bald Eagle."

Always prioritizing academics – "No As, No Bs: No Play" – he encouraged and loved to watch his two children participate in high school athletics, at which they excelled. Even when he was working an overnight shift, he made it a priority not to miss any of their after-school practices or games.

Dudley served as Assistant Boy Scout Troop Master for Troop 5, based at St. Martha's Church in East Providence. He in delighted the successes of his Scouting alumni, who would become U.S. Senator, R.I. State Police and municipal police leaders, professors, engineers, and various additional roles in public service.

He loved camping with his family and was an avid freshwater Bass fisherman with his best friend and fellow Scoutmaster, the late Abel Francisco. A woodworking hobbyist, he built part of the family home.

He served as best man at his son's wedding.

Always a problem solver, Dudley managed an Essential Tremors condition his whole life. As it became increasingly debilitating, he continuously came up with innovative ways to maintain his independence.

Later in life, Dudley could frequently be found with his daughter at eateries around East Providence, where he enjoyed socializing with fellow Townies.

Dudley was predeceased by his wife of 48 years, M. Elizabeth (Aldrich) Perry; his younger siblings, Robert Denison Perry, Halford Perry, Henry "Ribby" Perry, Martha (Perry) Libowitz, and Audrey “Dolly” (Perry) Sweet; and his parents, Dudley Peter Perry and Lillian Phelps. He is also predeceased by his beloved dogs, Sheena and Mollie.

He is survived by his daughter, Deborah L. Perry of East Providence and her partner, maria caporizzo; his son, Thomas D. Perry of South Carolina and his wife, LaBet Parrish Perry; his grandson, Matthew Thomas Perry of South Carolina and his wife, Kelly; his granddaughter, SaraBeth Perry Douglas of Georgia and her husband, Blake; and his three great-grandchildren, Mason, Maddox and AmeliaRae.

A committal service will be held on Saturday, October 1, 2022, at 10:00 AM, in the Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery, 301 South County Trail, Exeter, RI. Family and friends are asked to gather at the visitor center located at the entrance of the cemetery. Donations may be made to the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. www.mcsf.org.

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