Vernon R. Perry, 82, of Magnolia, Arkansas, died Wednesday, July 29, 2015 at the John R Williamson Hospice House in El Dorado. Vernon was born June 9, 1933 in Walkerville in Columbia County. He was an amateur radio operator for 60 years (Call Sign: K5MEB) and a Columbia County reserve deputy for 25 years.
Vernon Perry was also a long time member of the Kadohadacho Chapter of the Arkansas Archeological Society―in fact he was present at the first meeting in 1970. He took part in numerous Arkansas Archeological Society digs (e.g., Johnny Ford, Old Davidsonville, Ferguson, Historic Washington State Park, etc.) and other volunteer excavation efforts (e.g., Cedar Grove, Lake Columbia and Crenshaw).
Beyond these basic efforts, Mr. Perry was an asset to the Society by serving many, many times in various chapter offices and on the Arkansas Archeological Survey-SAU Research Station Board of Advisers (he just cycled off for the last time in 2009). Mr. Perry was a huge help to the Arkansas Archeological Survey by helping to process numerous collections in the laboratory. He helped repair numerous reconstructable ceramic vessels (such as the pots recovered from the Grandview excavations). Above and beyond the call of duty, Mr. Perry helped move the ARAS-SAU Research Station’s collections (over 2,000 boxes worth) at least three times during his tenure as a volunteer.
Over the course of 45 years, Vernon was very active recording sites for the ARAS sites files. Several of those years Mr. Perry ranked among the highest site recording rates for an individual in the state. Of the 331 archeological sites located in Columbia County, Vernon Perry recorded 191. In neighboring Union County he recorded more than 50 archeological sites. Thus, his diligent work has added to the Arkansas Archeological Survey’s archeological site database.
On a personal level, he was also an immeasurable help to me when I was the new ARAS-SAU Research Station Archeologist beginning in 2006―helping to familiarize me with the southwest Arkansas station territory. I would not have learned “the lay of the land” on southwest Arkansas so quickly if it had not been for all of those Fridays riding around with Vernon.
Mr. Perry received the Arkansas Archeological Society’s Distinguished Service Award in 2009.
K5MEB has signed off.