Charles Perry

Charles Engleman Perry

April 27th, 2020
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On Monday, April 27, 2020, Charles Engleman Perry, passed away in Tucson, Arizona at age 74. Charles, who also liked to be known as Charlie or Chuck, was the father of Stephanie Perry of Fountain, Colorado and John Perry of Rangely, Colorado.

Charles was born in Kansas City, MO on August 12, 1945 to John and Miriam (Hess) Perry. He grew up in Kansas City and went to Hale Cook Elementary and graduated from Southwest High School in 1963. As a youth, Charles was an avid Boy Scout and earned his Eagle Scout rank in 1960. Throughout his high school years, he was passionate about photography, building a dark room in his basement and developing his own pictures. Not only was he the yearbook photographer, but he was quite the entrepreneur. In order to pay for his private pilot’s license, Charles took pictures of summer camp groups to sell. He secured his pilot’s license before graduating high school and was able to fly single engine planes to and from Denver University with his high school sweetheart, Martha Groening, who also attended D.U.. June 15, 1966 he wed Martha and they embarked on almost 44 years of marriage. When Charles graduated in 1967 from Denver University, he received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business. He briefly taught as a flight instructor at the University of Illinois and then at Jefferson County Airport near Broomfield, Colorado. In 1969, Charles moved his family to Bisbee, Arizona where he secured a job at Cochise College as a flight instructor from 1969 to 1973. In 1971, Charles, at age 26, became the youngest man ever to be authorized to conduct flight tests on behalf of the Federal Aviation Administration as a designated pilot examiner acting as the final quality control inspector. Charles, who had had a lifelong love of Colorado moved his family of four to Colorado Springs in 1973 and worked as a Horace Mann insurance agent while traveling on weekends teaching Accelerated Ground School to future pilots. In the early 1980’s, Charles branched out and started his own insurance agency, which he successfully ran with the close support of Martha. When an opportunity arose in 1984 for Charles to return to Cochise College as a Chief Flight Instructor, he couldn’t turn it down, thus moving his family back to Bisbee. While working at Cochise College, Charles earned his Master of Arts degree in Business from The American College. In 1992, he was selected as the Arizona Flight Instructor of the Year by the Federal Aviation Administration. In 1997, Charles became re-authorized to conduct flight tests on behalf of the FAA as a designated pilot examiner and continued with this vital role until 2016. In 2011, Charles made the difficult decision to retire from Cochise College, completing a 31-year career at the college. Charles was recognized by the college as an educator who made many more contributions to aviation education even though he was retired and was appointed to Faculty Emeritus status. As evidence of this continual sharing of his passion for aviation, in October 2015, Charles was awarded the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award for 50 years of service. Charles was the epitome of a master pilot, exhibiting professionalism, skill, and aviation expertise since the age of 16.

Charles believed firmly that instead of complaining about issues, one should get involved and be a part of solutions. He was an active contributor to the Cochise College community by serving for 12 years as the president or secretary of the College Senate. He also served on the Employee Relations Committee. Within both the Colorado Springs and Bisbee communities, Charles was a vital member of the Lions Club, heading up and contributing to many service projects. Additionally, Charles was a vocal member of several boards for homeowners associations overseeing his rental properties. He was certainly not one to sit by and not take action.

Charles, who was known for his sarcastic wit and quick comebacks, had a lifelong love for rhythm and blues music and watched Westerns often while munching on his absolute favorites; pizza, bacon, and popcorn. He is preceded in death by his parents, a sister, Catherine Lee, and his wife, Martha. He is survived by his children, three grandchildren, Robynne Hill and Taylor Hill of Fountain, Colorado, Kaytlynne (Noah) Woods of Tucson, Arizona, and his sister, Carol (Dan) Davis of Warrenburg, MO. In January 2019, Charles married Mary Ann (Rawlins) Moore, who resided with him in Bisbee, AZ.

In honor of Charles’s lifelong commitment to aviation education, gifts may be made in his memory to the Cochise College Foundation, or 4190 W. Highway 80, Douglas, AZ 85607. Gifts will be earmarked to specifically benefit the Aviation program.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Friday May 8th, 2020 |
    Friday May 8th, 2020
    Fairview Cemetery
    1000 South 26th Street
    Colorado Springs, CO 80904
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Fairview Cemetery
    1000 South 26th Street
    Colorado Springs, CO 80904
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Eric C. Fahrner

Posted at 10:36pm
Mr. Perry was a complicated and interesting person. As he and I once reminisced in recent years down at Gus The Greek's in Bisbee, noshing on pizza, snarffeling gyros and sipping delicious beer, when I was nay but a young student pilot with maybe too much airspace between the ears, I thought he was a #$%^^$#. He chuckled at that. But I swear I thought he was! He was gruff! He was sarcastic! He could see into your soul and know if you were even THINKING about flying your Cherokee Warrior between the Douglas smokestacks. And by keeping young students from doing foolish stuff, Mr. Perry... kept them safe.

I first realized there was more to Mr. Perry than Mr. Gruff-Pants when I saw him one 4th of July at Bisbee's Vista Park, and he was volunteering his time with his service club (Lyons? Rotary?) cooking hotdogs to raise money for their charities. Hmmm.

As time went by I also noticed that if you could match wits with Mr. Perry and hold your own for at least 2 minutes, he respected that and enjoyed intelligent, clever back-and-forth. I came to suspect that he was really just a big lovable fuzzball. I remember the time another student and I being on one side of a chain link fence, with Mr. Perry on the other, teasing him a bit, commenting that the fence made it safe enough to try and poke him with a stick like a grizzly bear. "Do Not Tease The Perry," I said. That broke the ice even more.

Skip forward to 1993. Commercial groundschool. A classroom full of nervous students. Mr. Perry comes in and discusses how important it is for pilots to follow FAA regulations, else HE gets an earful from the FAA, and that wouldn't maker him happy. I lean over and, in a loud stage whisper. said to Carlos Cartagena, "he's so ADORABLE when he's angry." The shock & awe of my fellow students was priceless as they awaited the grim results... and Chuck gave a belly-laugh! That class was probably the best classroom experience I ever had, and we all learned a lot. It was also a lot of fun, and it proved that Mr. Perry was a warm and playful personality too.

I would come to class early, and draw elaborate aviation-related cartoons, and Mr. Perry would then come in and add to them. I once did a cartoon of a Piper Cherokee Warrior (N6121H) dreaming about being in formation flight with the Air Force Thunderbirds - Mr. Perry gave TWO grunts, then drew in the F-16s shooting down the Warrior.

Mr. Perry let me know that there were flight instructors who were interested in custom artwork for the backs of student's shirts when they did their first solos. My theme usually involved a cartoon of the student flying hot, doing barrel rolls, etc. with poor Mr. Perry and his trademark cup of coffee standing by the hangar, watching in abject horror.

The Que Pas dining room at Cochise College was infamous as being what Mr. Perry called the "Que Pas School Of Finer Aviation Education" due to students swapping iffy theories about proper flying. At the end of that semester, teacher & students were all pretty close, so a group of us made a certificate awarding Mr. Perry an "Honorary Doctorate of Flyology" from the Que Pas School Of Finer Aviation Education. Mr. Perry kept it on his office wall until the day he retired.

I also remember the aforementioned time at Gus The Greek's in Bisbee, and the aforementioned pizza, gyros and delicious beer, and I realized, and commented to him that, I had never, EVER actually heard Mr. Perry utter a curse word. I mentioned that I'd pay good money just to hear Mr. Perry utter the F-word with gusto, and he proceeded to drop a dozen f-bombs with glee in a conversation about local Bisbee politics.

For years up to the time he retired, whenever I was down in Cochise County visiting, I would always drop by to see Mr. Perry. The guy I once thought was "a #$%^^$#" would drop whatever he was doing and spend a good hour visiting and catching up on old times, and he always managed to make me feel like I was the most important person to come through the school's doors that day. And I always made sure he knew that so many things that he taught me, including classic Chuck Perry-isms, served me well throughout my life so far, and continue to do so to this day.

Mariana Rivera

Posted at 09:04pm
Mr Perry was a tough gentleman , a man of few but meaningul words, I was really lucky to having him as May flight Instructor I remembered when I personally asked him to be My flight Instructor, he answered “ I dont have time for little girls” after coming Back from that summer my surprise, I was the only one and Mr Perry’s schedule I knew if for some reason he determined he was wasting time with me I would be off his lessons, the rest its history thanks to him Im a Professional Pilot the one he wanted me to be. Mr Perry will always be in my heart and he knew it.

Daniel O'Meara

Posted at 11:52pm
Chuck was a man who had a lasting influence on many. May it be said that Chuck Perry left this world a better place.

Daniel O’Meara

Marcus Daily

Posted at 11:50am
Our prayers are with his family. My pilot friends and I were Cochise College aviation students in 1985-1987. I was a fumbling 18 year old student pilot. I enrolled in his Instrument and Flight Instructor ground courses and had flight stage checks with Mr. Perry. We respected the quality pilot/instructor/evaluator this man was. His advice was revered. In the flight instructor ground school, I remember Mr Perry making sure all of us country kiddos knew how to tie a tie. We got tested on that friday and received a grade. lol.

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