Chemist, educator, activist, F. Perry Hood lll passed away peacefully the afternoon of Monday, March 6, 2017, in his home in Lewes, surrounded by his loving family after a long struggle with a respiratory illness. He was born in Philadelphia, Pa., Nov. 28, 1934, the son of the late Frank P. Hood Jr. and Maylene (Edwards) Hood.
He started his college education at Drexel as a chemical engineering major, but interrupted his studies to fulfill his service obligation as a member of the U.S. Army Quartermaster's Corps. Married to Ruth Hanna before his deployment, he served 18 months in Japan where he became enamored with the Japanese culture. Upon his return, he completed his education, graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor of science degree in chemistry in 1963.
Employment at Bell Labs was a steppingstone to a long career with IBM as a chemist in the East Fishkill, N.Y. campus. Two daughters, Andrea and Laura, were born in New York, and Perry modeled for them a very active involvement in civic and social activities in their Lomala, N.Y. community. One particularly notable example was his role in the early years of the East Fishkill Girls' Softball League. After attending the very first parent interest meeting announced in the local paper, Perry played an integral part of the organization, eventually becoming the director of the entire league.
A move to Virginia in 1987 found Perry attempting to adjust to a sales position within IBM, a fit that was friction-filled. During this time, his first marriage ended. Answering a query the State of Virginia made to IBM employees, Perry undertook the challenge of fulfilling the requirements for secondary education teachers in order to retire from IBM and become a high school chemistry teacher. He taught both regular and AP chemistry at Falls Church High School, Falls Church, Va., for 10 years. "The hardest job I ever had, and the one that I loved the most."
On March 11, 1995, Perry married Laura Brewer in Vienna, Va. After their move to Lewes in late 2000, Perry filled his second retirement period by becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate (C.A.S.A.). He was also a part-time employee of Lee Ann Wilkerson's realty team, exploring all of Sussex County, photographing homes; a volunteer water quality tester for UD's College of Earth, Ocean, Environment and Policy campus in Lewes, and an avid follower of Cape Henlopen's Girls' Softball and the Slam Dunk to the Beach Tournament.
Politically, Perry truly viewed himself as an Independent, with strong liberal leanings. Although he mainly donated to one party, he was known to canvas, work phone banks and otherwise support whichever candidate he believed would be the best person for the position. During several elections Perry volunteered to work in various capacities within polling places. He welcomed lively debate with people who held alternate views, as long as the discussion was carried out in a civil manner.
Preceded in death by his parents and brother Jay, Perry is survived by sisters Barbara (Ivan) Tewarson, Mary Jane (Ed) Weidenbbach, Joyce (Paul) Waclawsky; brother David (Christine) Hood, wife Laura; daughters Andrea (Lloyd) Morganstein and Laura (John) Scheib. His grandchildren, Bailey and Adara Morganstein, and William and Ava Scheib were a source of immense pride and joy. Sister-in-law Barbara (Charles) Ellertson and a host of nieces and nephews completed his family circle.
There will be a memorial service Sunday, March 19, at the Mendenhall Inn, 323 Kennett Pike, Mendenhall, Pa., beginning at 1:30 p.m. (Plans for a celebration of Perry's life in Lewes are pending.)
The family wishes to express deep gratitude to Compassionate Care Hospice, especially nurse manager Linda Banks, respiratory therapist Rose Furio, social worker Liz Miller, nurse practitioner Cynthia Drew, aide Ann Lekites, and former aide Lashonda Thomas. The Stephen Ministry program of Epworth United Methodist Church in Rehoboth Beach also provided comforting support for Perry's wife throughout his final illness.
In lieu of flowers, we wish donations in Perry's name to be sent to the Compassionate Care Hospice Foundation, 248 E. Chestnut Hill Road, Suite 4, Newark, DE 19731.