Cover photo for Donald Perryman Sr's Obituary
Donald Perryman Sr Profile Photo
1937 Donald 2022

Donald Perryman Sr

February 4, 1937 — August 10, 2022

Donald Gardiner Perryman, 85, of Saranac Lake, died on Wednesday, August 10, 2022, at Adirondack Medical Center. Born in South Nassau Communities Hospital in Rockville Center, NY, he was the son of Donald R. and Hazel (Wendell) Perryman.

He attended Columbia High School and Johnsburg Central School, graduating from Johnsburg in 1955. He received a degree in Pre-professional Forestry from Paul Smith's College in 1957. It was while attending Paul Smith's College that he met Gloria Gail Elliott, whom he married on June 27, 1959, in St. Bernard's Catholic Church in Saranac Lake. Don attended South Carolina State University College of Forestry and NYS University College of Forestry in Syracuse. He received his BS degree from NYS Empire State College.

Don had diverse jobs since he was very young, working as a cowboy on a "dude" ranch, driving truck, and working as a sales clerk. He went to work as a laborer for New York State in 1960, including working on the bob sled run, then as Junior Forest Surveyor. He took the NYS Civil Service Examination for Forest Ranger and in 1961 began his dream job as Forest Ranger in Blue Mountain Lake, New York, where he and his family remained for 20 years.

In addition to his career, Don was always dedicated to serving his community. He was a 4-H Leader at an early age. He was a National Rifle Association Hunter Safety Training Program Instructor; member of the Blue Mountain lake Fire Department from the early 1960's until 1980, serving as President for five years and drove the ambulance when needed. He was a member of the Indian Lake Central School Board of Education from 1969 to 1979, also serving as President for several years. Don was a member of the NYS Outdoor Guides Association, Society of American Foresters, and life member of the National Rifle Association of America. He spent many hours fighting fires, searching for lost people in all types of weather, and patrolling State Campgrounds long into the night on holiday weekends. He was a member of the DEC Rangers Search and Rescue Red Eagle Team. Don worked with and supervised trail crews and Forest Fire Observers, maintaining the telephone lines up Blue Mountain to the Fire Observer's cabin. He was actively involved in the notorious search for Robert Garrow. He was also assigned to work at the winter Olympics in Lake Placid.

Don promoted to the Albany office in 1980, soon earning status as Forest Ranger IV (Major), and wrote many of the policies implemented in various areas of DEC. He was responsible for grants issued to various fire companies throughout New York State. In 1984, he applied for and received "demotion" to Captain in Region 5 Ray Brook in order to return to his beloved Adirondacks. As proud as he was of his "oak leaves," Don was always just as proud of his status as rescue Forest Ranger I. Among other projects, Don was instrumental in developing the back country program which included support from medical, rescue, and clergy for people whose loved ones were lost. At the time of his retirement, he was supervising 41 Forest Rangers and 5 Lieutenants.

Don lost the vision in one eye due to ischemic optic neuropathy. Later, the back his left eye was discovered to have a "freckle," which developed into choroidal melanoma. He was referred to Dr. Carol Shields of Wills Eye Institute, who performed radioactive plaque therapy at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia on March 15, 2007, saving his vision for some years. As Dr. Shields eventually said, 'We couldn't save your vision, but we saved your life." For that reason, in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Wills Institute Eye Tumor Research Fund in care of Fortune Keough Funeral Home.

Besides his parents, Don was predeceased by his son, Donald, Jr., and one sister, Diana Taliaferro.

He is survived by his wife, Gail; one son, Daniel (Bonnie) of Vermontville; and two daughters, Cindy (Phillip) Wilkinson of Yorktown VA; and Sandra (Keith Huntley) Perryman of Stillwater, NY; 11 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren; one brother Arthur (Kristine) of Wevertown NY; two sisters, Susanne (Robert) Fulmer of Queensbury, NY; and Laurie Callihan of Altamont Springs, FL; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Don was a communicant of St. Bernard's Catholic Church and 3rd degree member of Knights of Columbus in Saranac Lake.

Visiting will be held at St. Bernard's Church on Friday, September 2, at 11 a.m., followed by Mass at 12 noon. Burial will follow in Brookside Cemetery in Bloomingdale.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donald Perryman Sr, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, September 2, 2022

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

St. Bernard's Roman Catholic Church

27 Saint Bernard Street, Saranac Lake, NY 12983



Calling hours to be held in St. Bernard's Church prior to start of funeral mass

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Service

Friday, September 2, 2022

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

St. Bernard's Roman Catholic Church

27 Saint Bernard Street, Saranac Lake, NY 12983

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Interment



Military and NYS Forest Ranger Honor Guards to be present.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Guestbook

Photo Gallery

Visits: 0

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree