Lowville, N.Y. Perry Christian Steria, 71, of 7577 StateRoute 12, died Wednesday morning when he was involved in a collision on Route 12 north in the Town of Harrisburg. Snow was drifting across the road at the time creating slippery conditions, and his vehicle skidded into the opposite lane, colliding with a pickup truck.
A funeral service will be Monday, February 24th, 2014, 11 a.m. at the Lowville Mennonite Church with Keith Zehr, pastor, officiating. Calling hours will be Sunday, February 23rd from 3-8 p.m. at the church. Burial will be in the spring in the Croghan Mennonite Cemetery.
Born August 1, 1942 in Lowville, a son of Ralph and Alta Yousey Steria, Perry graduated from Beaver River Central School in 1960. In 1964 he graduated from Goshen College, Goshen, Indiana with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Later he earned a Masters Degree in Education from Potsdam SUNY. Perry served in voluntary service at Frontier Boys Village, Woodland Park, Colorado from 1964-1966. He enjoyed backpacking, hunting and fishing in the Rocky Mountains.
He married Beth Boshart on July 27, 1974 at the Lowville Mennonite Church, with the Reverend Lloyd Boshart, father of the bride, officiating.
Perry was employed as an accountant for Beaverite Products, Beaver Falls, NY, caregiver at NYSDSO Community Home in Castorland, NY, and a teacher for NYDOCS at Watertown Correctional Facility in Watertown, NY. He also prepared income tax returns for local clients, including Amish farmers and businesses.
Perry had been part-time manager at the Agape Shoppe in Watertown since August, 2013. He was in his second term as a member of the Agape Shoppe Board. He had also been a board member for Brookhaven Home and Adirondack Mennonite Heritage Association. He and his wife Beth served in various capacities for AMHA, including sauerkraut making. Perry also enjoyed carpentry and oil painting, and he had a very warm heart for animals, having seven cats at the time of his death. Most of them came to Perry and Beth as stray cats.
Perry was very involved with the Lowville Mennonite Church, and was helping with something nearly every Sunday. He would cheerfully volunteer wherever help was needed. He served as an usher, worked on the soundboard, and occasionally moderated the worship service. He was the missions representative on the Church Council, which is the main leadership committee of the church. This position led him to represent the Lowville Mennonite Church in a village interchurch effort to address the problem of homelessness in Lowville.
He also helped with a church conference program to provide care and resources to military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome and other difficulties. He and Beth served as church delegates to New York Mennonite Conference. His most current church assignment involved being on the planning committee for the 100 year anniversary which was recently celebrated by the church.
He is survived by his wife of almost 40 years Beth, a sister Bonnie (Charles) Wortinger of Goshen, IN, a brother John (Judith) Steria, Fort Worth, TX, and sisters-in-law Ruthann Roggie, Martha Boshart and Cathy RoshanKhan. He is also survived by aunts, nieces, nephews and their families.
He was predeceased by his father Ralph, mother Alta, sisters Maxine and Sandra, and a brother Gene.
Perry was very loved by the Boshart and Steria and Yousey families. He will be greatly missed by them, and by everyone who knew him.
Contributions may be made to Adirondack Mennonite Heritage Association, c/o Donald Roggie, 4491 Boshart Road, Lowville, NY 13367.
Condolences may be shared with his family at www.isenekerfuneralhome.com.