Robert R. “Bob” Perry, who served on the Falls Church City Council from 1992-96 and on a number of City boards, commissions and volunteer organizations, died after a long illness last week. He and his wife Nancy had been living at the Goodwyn House in the Bailey’s Crossroads area.
A celebration of his life has been scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 15, at 2 p.m. in the Goodwyn House chapel, and following that there will be a reception in the parlor adjacent the chapel.
Longtime friend and civic activist collaborator Edna Frady, also now residing at the Goodwyn House, reported the passing of Perry last week. Perry had been in hospice care for some time before passing.
Perry was nominated along with Merni Fitzgerald and Jeffrey Tarbert to run for City Council on the slate of the Citizens for a Better City (CBC) in 1992. The entire slate won election – with Tarbert to subsequently serve a term as mayor and Fitzgerald as vice-mayor – to restore a briefly-lost CBC majority on the Council at the time.
Perry did not seek re-election in 1996. One of his most memorable moments on the Council came in 1993, when in the flap over the Council’s approval of a Taco Bell on the corner of W. Broad and S. West St., a citizen accused him of a conflict of interest because he held stock in the Pepsico company, the parent of Taco Bell.
Usually mild mannered, Perry’s laser-like retort to the charge became a local legend. His stock holdings, of course, were microscopic. The particular citizen’s vocal opposition ceased, and all the fears of the socially-degenerative consequences of the Taco Bell proved unfounded.
Prior to his election to the City Council, Perry had been a resident of Falls Church for 27 years. He was an environmental engineer and registered professional engineer with 40 years of experience.
In Falls Church, he’d served as an appointee to the City’s Planning Commission from 1976 to 1985, as the chair of its Recycling and Litter Prevention Council, the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Advisory Board on Recreation and Parks.
He served a term as president of the City’s Village Preservation and Improvement Society (VPIS), chaired the City’s Charter Review Committee and was a member of the Falls Church chapter of the League of Women Voters.
When Frady reported Perry’s death last week, it was noted that a prayer would be held in his memory at the Goodwyn House chapel last Sunday, and a number of friends of the Perrys attended. That was before plans for an official memorial service had been made.
Goodwyn House is located at 3440 S. Jefferson St., Falls Church, 22041. Letters of condolences can be sent to Nancy Perry at that address, Apt. 928.