Mickey Perry has left us, suddenly and tragically.
His life touched every corner of this city, the county and the state. His leadership defined local law enforcement and government.
When he chose to run for mayor, Mickey brought stability to the Claremore City Council.
Those who encountered Mickey were made to feel important, for he took time to get to know individuals.
Claremore Police Chief Stan Brown described Mickey as a mentor and coach. He was thoughtful and cared about whoever he encountered. Perry never met a stranger.
His laughter and humor engaged us. One of the last times he dropped by to visit, he told of how RCB Bank had the winning bid for a Santa appearance by Mickey at the recent Safenet Services Tree of Lights auction.
Mickey thought he could buy his way out of it, figuring it would cost $50 or $60 bucks. He was surprised to learn the winning bid was $600, so he relented and put the suit on for the bank’s Christmas Open House.
He was wonderful as Santa. He told me there were children from 9- to 93-years-old who came and sat on his lap. Mickey was full of cheer and Christmas spirit, no matter the season.
At his funeral, a short multimedia presentation reminded me of some personal advice he shared in November when I participated in No-Shave November.
The early days of my no-shave effort was frustrating. Mickey told me to let it grow. He encouraged me to stick with it and see how it turned out.
There were multiple photos of him with a full beard through the years. Mickey was an encourager.
He spent his life serving others. For 25 years, he participated in Share the Spirit. At his death, he was in the middle of final preparations for this year’s drive. Serving as president of the foundation, he had marshalled the troops of volunteers to meet the needs of nearly 1,000 families in Rogers County.
Mickey served on numerous boards and committees at both the state and local level, including but not limited to, the Blue Ribbon Committee, State Drug and Alcohol Policy Board, Region 2 Oklahoma Homeland Security Council, OSBI Commission, Tri-County CASA, Rogers County Youth Shelter and the Emergency Medical Services Board.
His commitment to others should be an example to everyone. There is a hole in our lives. It can be filled with great memories of Mickey. It can be filled by taking every opportunity to help those around us. If we can serve the public as he did, think of how much better our community would be
Claremore and all of Rogers County has lost a friend, an ambassador, an advocate for all.
We thank his family for sharing him with us and we express our condolences for their loss.
Mickey, we will never forget how your touched our lives.
Randy Cowling is editor of the Claremore Daily Progress.