Richard Palese Perry, DDS, 80, of Forest Park, formerly of Oak Park, died on Jan. 18, 2021. Born on April 7, 1940, he grew up on Chicago’s West Side attended Austin High School, Roosevelt University, and graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago Dental School in 1968.
He had a long career and lasting love for dentistry, practicing for 52 years. His practice touched many lives and provided more than just dental care. He was both a professor and general practitioner. A much loved teacher at the University of Illinois Chicago School of Dentistry, he rose to dean of Clinical Affairs and had a distinguished career with many leadership roles. A former president of the Illinois State Dental Society and chairman of the board of Delta Dental of Illinois, he received many accolades, but he took more pride in encouraging young minds and filling them with the love he had for dentistry. His private practice started on Western Avenue, in the neighborhood he grew up in and finished only a few miles away in Oak Park, where he raised his family. He took great pride in providing care for all, no matter their condition and regardless of their ability to pay. He practiced dentistry well into his 80th year and only a pandemic could slow him down.
He lived a life filled with joy, family, friendship and love. He loved a delicious meal, a good joke, baseball and a hot cup of coffee. He was never sleeping, just resting his eyes, always had a smile on his face and a sunny disposition. He had a big heart and a generous soul.
Richard Perry was the husband of Eleanora (nee Bruni); father of Katherine Lutz, Sara (John) Schoff, and Teresa (Cody) Crase; papa of Andrew, Caitlin (Kevin Nutley), Evan, Aidan and Charlotte Lutz, Liam, Jack and Ryan Schoff, and Noah, Sammy and Henry Crase; great-grandpa of Maeve Nutley; brother of the late Dr. Robert (Zoila) Perry; brother-in-law of Martha (Ron) Walczyk; and uncle, cousin and friend of many.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations to the CDS Foundation Clinic are appreciated. Arrangements were handled by Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home.