Hosea L. Perry, age 76, of Goodview, Minn., and formerly of Waycross, Ga., died Monday, January 21, 2013, at Sauer Health Care, Winona, Minn.
Hosea Lawrence Perry was born September 18, 1936, in Waycross, Ga., to John and Cheese (Wooden) Perry. He graduated from Center High School in Waycross in 1955, and then pursued a BA degree in history from Allen University, Columbia, S.C., (1960) and an MA degree in history and sociology from North Carolina Central University in Durham, N.C. (1964). He continued further graduate study as a fellow in Far Eastern politics at Florida State University, studied social welfare at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1968-1970) and earned an MSW degree from the University of Iowa in 1977. He was an instructor of History and Sociology at Florida A&M University, Alcorn A&M University in Lorman, Miss., Mobile State Junior College in Mobile, Ala., where he also chaired the department, and Barber-Scotia College in Concord, N.C., before becoming a professor at Winona State University in 1969, where he helped create a new social work major as well as teach in the areas of sociology, social work and criminal justice. Failing health led to his retirement from WSU as Professor Emeritus in 1992.
He was a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, a lifetime member of the NAACP and an active participant in the civil rights movement throughout the South during the 1960s. While in Winona, Hosea served as advisor to the WSU Black Student Association, was a member of the Minn. Conference on Social Work Education, National Counsel of Social Work Education (CSWE) and served on the Winona County Advisory Board for Welfare, 1984-1989. He was a member of St. Mary’s Parish in Winona, and a Cojourner with the Sisters of St. Francis of Rochester, Minn. In 1989, he received their Franciscan Peace Initiative Award. He also received awards from the University of South Carolina for Continuing Education and Culture, Health and the Black Community, and from the National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association for research and publishing on dying and death. He was also affiliated with Alpha Delta Mu National Social Work Honor Society, Guardian ad litem, Winona County Court Division, Social Service Advisory Committee and the Human Relations Committee at Viterbo College, La Crosse, Wis. Given Hosea’s lifelong commitment to civil rights and his interest in presidential politics, it seems oddly appropriate that his death occurred on the day honoring Martin Luther King as well as the second inauguration of President Obama.
He is survived by two sisters: Queen Jenkins (who also taught Sunday School at MLK’s church while in college) of Albany, Ga., and Ezelia Perry of Plains, Ga.; daughter, Georgia Williams of Los Angeles, Calif.; nieces, nephews and other relatives. He was preceded in death by his wife, Vivian Perry; parents; three sisters: Georgia M. Perry, Ida Mae Neal, and Vidalia Bentley; and two brothers: Albert and Osmond.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 12:30 p.m. Friday, January 25, 2013, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Winona, with Rev. Jim Berning officiating. Visitation will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the visitation commons of St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Interment will be at Hazzard Hill Cemetery, Waycross, Ga.
Memorials may be directed to the Hosea L. Perry Scholarship Fund at Winona State University, PO Box 5838, Winona, Minn 55987.
Services entrusted to Fawcett-Junker Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Winona, Minn., and Perry Brothers Funeral Home, Waycross, Ga. Words of sympathy and remembrance may be left at www.fawcett-junkerfuneralhome.com