April 1, 1933 - June 10, 2020
Perry Smith, beloved by all who knew him, left this earth on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. He was a wonderful man who deeply impacted many lives. Perry Mount Smith was born eighty-seven years ago to RC and Veda Smith on Saturday, April 1, 1933, in Frisco, Texas. He was preceded in death by two older siblings, Marvin and Mary Mancuso. The Smith family moved from Texas to Tracy, CA in 1941. In high school, Perry was a scholar and athlete. He played football and four years of varsity tennis, and graduated from Tracy High School in 1950. Following a year at UC Berkeley, he joined the Air Force to serve his country for four years, two of which were spent in Illinois. When his military service ended, the family moved back home to Tracy, where Perry began a 40-year career with Caltrans. Perry married his high school sweetheart, Loretta Mae Pedro, on July 14, 1951. They were married for forty-one years before she passed away on March 6, 1992. They are survived by their three children, Greg, Randy, and Sandee, seven grandchildren, and eleven great-grandchildren. Throughout their forty-one years of marriage, Perry and Loretta lived a full and wonderful life, and many of their adventures involved the outdoors. They packed up the family often to take them on camping and fishing capers around California – from the ocean to lakes and mountains. These trips were beloved by all. The adventuresome spirit and love of the outdoors lives on in Perry’s great-grandchildren. One summer in the late eighties, fishing and adventure took Perry to remote Graveyard Point, Alaska, to commercial salmon fish with his eldest son, Greg. This wasn’t a typical fishing trip using a rod and reel; It involved being in a 20 foot skiff, hauling in gill nets by hand, and picking fish out of it. Long days under the Midnight Sun, living in an old abandoned cannery without running water: now that was an experience! At home, Perry kept a meticulous yard, with a well-cared-for lawn and pruned bushes. The grandchildren knew to be very careful digging lost toys out from amongst the green leafy branches. Many happy family memories were created in that yard and home. Giggles were often heard from little grandchildren playing in the warm and inviting space created by their grandparents. Football was a sport Perry continued to enjoy throughout his life. His sons played in high school and college. Aside from Loretta, he was their biggest fan. Perry enjoyed watching football on the weekends, and many family memories were created when grandparents and grandchildren alike gathered together for Sunday games. The San Francisco 49ers were Perry’s favorite professional football team and he held season tickets in Candlestick for many years. Perry spent most of his life in Tracy, CA, surrounded by family: three generations graduated from Tracy High School. As his grandchildren began graduating, they ventured to new places, spanning the country from coast to coast. Perry traveled to each and every graduation and wedding – including Southern California, Connecticut, Alaska, and Wisconsin – to celebrate these occasions. Being present to witness and be a part of these significant events was something very important to Perry, and his actions are forever etched on the hearts of his grandchildren. Perry enjoyed making things with his hands. One of the ways he shared his creativity and love was through woodworking. He produced many lovingly crafted, beautiful, practical pieces: he built a dainty recipe box for Loretta, beds for Greg and Randy, a living room table, corner bookcases, a rocking elephant for his granddaughters, a cradle, puzzles, engraved picture frames, and so many more. He even built a classroom for his homeschooled granddaughters — a space that encouraged and instilled a love of learning. The loss of Loretta left Perry feeling very lonely. He found love a second time with Sharon Dell’Osso. They married on January 9, 1993, and were together for twenty-seven years before his passing. When Perry married Sharon, he moved to Stockton, CA. He enjoyed golf — so much so, that the first home they bought together was on a golf course! Many days were spent puttering around the course with his friends. Upon marrying Sharon, the family grew with the addition of her three adult children – Ron, Mike, and Annette; eight grandchildren, and eleven great grandchildren. The blending of families expanded gatherings and many good times were had. Love, life and laughter echoed through the house and yard during visits. Sharon adored Perry and they shared an immense love. They were quite the pair and had their own adventures together, exploring the coast and areas closer to home, as well as around the United States, and even to South America and Europe. Perry enjoyed taking photographs on these trips. Playing games around the table was a pastime shared by many in the family. These included Rummikub, Dominoes, and numerous card games. Hardly a visit went by without a game being played, and those moments will continue to hold special memories for those of us who spent time playing them. Perry even won the World Championship Cribbage Tournament in Quincy, CA! Perry and Sharon continued to enjoy a weekly game night with friends until recently. Perry had been living with Parkinson’s, and a remarkable thing about him was the joy, dignity, and grace he continued to exude. Even though his body was affected by the disease, his happiness remained, and was palpable. His perspective was quite a testament to his overall outlook on life. Among the many stories we each remember about Perry, you will find repeated threads: His unfailing love was evident and exuded from him, even through the phone; He had endless words of encouragement, confidence, love, pride, and affirmation; His smile sparkled and lit up the room; There was a twinkle in his eye, making you wonder what he saw that you didn’t; When his chuckle became a full laugh was such a wonderful sound; Perry’s sense of humor could catch you by surprise; His hugs were warm and enveloping; Spending time with Perry meant that he was present in that moment; Watching his sharp mind pick up details and strategy while playing games was a thrill; You could feel his love and assurance just by the squeeze of his hand; The smile that would come after having kisses planted on top of his head lit up the room; The sound of his voice telling stories, asking questions, spreading words of life was deep, but soft and sweet; He was the patriarch of an incredible and loving family. These things are the legacy we will carry with us. In each of Perry’s children – Greg, Randy, and Sandee – we see not only a physical resemblance, but the indelible mark their father has left on them and who they have become. That mark also extends beyond, to the grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and not just to those of us who have his blood, but those he was gifted with when he married Sharon. When someone is about to pass from this world, many emotions and memories rise to the surface. The overarching theme throughout the past four weeks has been one of loving people — remembering the way Perry loved people, the way Loretta loved people, the way Sharon continues to love people; The way each and every one of their children and their spouses (for it truly is a collaboration) love each other: Greg and Candice, Randy and Denise, Sandee, Ron and Susan, Michael and Karen, and Annette and Joe; the way each of the grandchildren, with their spouses, love those around them: GaBriella and Willie, Maili and Trent, Francesca and Ian, Camella and Daniel, Morgan, Nick and Kayla, Ryan, Philip and Christine, Andrea, Ricky and Katie, Robby, Brian and Brittany, Laura and Matt, Melissa and Mark, and Sarah and Smoak; and finally, the way the great grandchildren are learning to love from the legacy of their parents and elders: Elijah, Izabella, Ella, Celestina, Marina, Mason, Hezekiah, Jazzell, Bering, Titus, Noah, Leona, Lane, Cullen, Weston, Christian, Brayden, Charlott, Brady, Mike, Mac, and Mason. This is just a small glimpse of who Perry was, but that is not why he is now in Heaven – we don’t earn our way there — it is through our simple faith and belief and acceptance that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. Good-bye for now, dear Perry. One day we will see you in Heaven. We say that not because it sounds nice to go to Heaven, but because we truly believe that when someone accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, the end of life on this earth is the beginning of life in Heaven. Thank you Perry for all you have given and shared with each and every one of us, your family. We will practice being present, speaking words of life, and being givers. We will continue to live your legacy of loving people. A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, June 19, 2020, at 9:30 am at Tracy Memorial Chapel, 5 W. Highland Avenue, with a graveside service to follow at 11 am at the Tracy Cemetery.
Perry Smith, beloved by all who knew him, left this earth on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. He was a wonderful man who deeply impacted many lives. Perry Mount Smith was born eighty-seven years ago to RC and Veda Smith on Saturday, April 1, 1933,... View Obituary & Service Information
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