Charles A. Perry Jr. dies

Author:
Publish date:
Charles A. Perry Jr. (left) with son Charles A. Perry III from Rep Night, 2015.

Charles A. Perry Jr. (left) with son Charles A. Perry III from Rep Night, 2015.

Charles Austin Perry Jr., founder of the Charles A. Perry Co., which became one of the marine industry’s leading manufacturing rep firms, died Dec. 10. He was 90.

Perry loved the marine industry, but his earliest love was flying. At age 10, his uncle, J.P. Holland, taught him to fly. “It was that experience that ignited Charlie's life-long passion for flying,” noted his obituary. “He soloed and obtained his pilot's license at age 16, a feat virtually unheard of at that time. Shortly thereafter, and combining his passion for flying with his emerging and life-long talent for salesmanship, Charlie told his high school friends to ‘meet me at the hayfield after school,’ where he took them aloft in a rented plane, at $1 a head, making his first of many entrepreneurial profits.”

Perry earned a football scholarship to Georgia Tech, but a knee injury ended his sports career. He graduated in 1951 with a degree in business management and completed Navy ROTC training.

“Stationed aboard the USS aircraft carrier the Coral Sea, he quickly proved his mettle and many talents to his commanding officers,” stated the obituary. “Despite failing an initial hearing test, the ship's Commander … pulled a few strings to get him admitted to flight school in the Navy. As if releasing a captured bird to flight, Charlie soared. He was an instructor pilot at NAS Jacksonville for two years, and thereafter qualified and flew as a fighter pilot.”

Perry had more than 100 successful landings on carriers, over 20 of them at night and some in weather so bad that he could barely see the landing signal officer in what he called "controlled crashes."

After leaving the Navy in 1957, Perry moved to Jacksonville, Fla., and started Charles A. Perry Co. He grew his manufacturer’s rep business to the largest sales enterprise in the United States at the time.

“It brought him great joy years later to see his son Charles, and grandson Austin, carry on and continue the family business, where it continues today,” the obituary stated.

Related

Sea Tow Saves Cold-Stunned Turtles

Its Corpus Christi outfit is rescuing turtles that were affected by the deep freeze in Texas.

Southern Marinas Sells Portfolio

The group had made six acquisitions last year and had a total of 12 properties under its umbrella.

2020 Neptune Award Winners Named

The annual marketing awards drew 129 entries in 20 categories.

‘A Great Start to 2021’

An onslaught of new and returning customers kept dealers busy in what is typically a slower time of year.

Nautique Names VP of Sales

Rick Skinner joins the Correct Craft subsidiary after 30-plus years with water-sports equipment manufacturer HO Sports.

MarineMax Expands Territories for Cruisers, MJM

The dealership will offer the brands at several of its locations, including Boston, Baltimore, Jacksonville and Charleston.

Groupe Beneteau Hacked

The breach was detected last week, resulting in a full network shutdown and production stoppage at several locations.

How is Your Inventory?

This month’s Pulse Report survey asks dealers to weigh in on product levels and strategies for restocking.