In Memoriam: Nelson A. Perry


by David Wiik

Nelson Allen Perry, a native of Louisville, Kentucky, and longtime resident of Mobile, Alabama, died Saturday, 29 January 2005. He was 67.

Before moving to Mobile, Perry was an assistant professor at Indiana University in Indianapolis. He helped establish the broad-scope medical radioactive materials license and radiation safety program at Indiana University Medical Center and later developed a similar program at the University of South Alabama (USA), where he was the radiation safety officer from 1976 until his retirement in 2000.

At USA, he was also an associate professor, teaching radiation physics and radiation biology at the College of Allied Health's Department of Radiologic Sciences. Perry was a longtime member of the Health Physics Society (HPS) and an active member of the Alabama Chapter. He served on the HPS History Committee from 1980 to 1983, Continuing and General Education Committee from 1985 to 1991, and Long Range Planning Committee from 1991 to 1994. He was instrumental in organizing the 31st Midyear Meeting—"Good Practices in Health Physics"—in 1998 in Mobile, Alabama, and was an HPS delegate to the March 1980 International Radiological Protection Association Congress in Jerusalem.

From 1977 to 1981, he served as the secretary, president-elect, and president of the Alabama Chapter of the HPS, as well as serving as the chairman of the Executive Board in 1981 and 1982.

He was a graduate of Southern High School in Louisville, Campbellsville College in Campbellsville, Kentucky, the University of Louisville in Louisville, and the University of Oklahoma in Norman.

Nelson was a member of Cottage Hill Baptist Church. He was an antique gun collector and enjoyed model trains and automobiles. The Kentucky lieutenant governor appointed him a Kentucky Colonel in 1963. You might remember him by the bolo ties he almost always wore.

Survivors include his wife of 48 years, Sarita Cornn Perry of Mobile; two daughters, Melody Doyle of Mobile and Kim Horne of Pelham, Alabama; one granddaughter; and a great-grandson.

Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association or the American Cancer Society.