Dr. William Morris Perel, 85, passed away on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013, in Stillwater. He was born on Oct. 17, 1927, to Charles Sumner Perel and Juanite Darrah Perel in Chicago, Ill. He married Tula Ripley Perel on Jan. 1, 1992 in Pawnee.
He grew up in Indiana and graduated from high school in Whiting, Ind. Upon graduation he joined the United States Army, proudly serving his country during World War II, stationed in Austria. He then returned to college, receiving his doctorate in mathematics from Indiana University in 1955. He taught at several universities throughout the United States before settling at Wichita State University in 1966. He served nine years while there as chairman of the Math Department.
In 1971 he created the first program in computer sciences for Wichita State, approved by the Kansas Board of Regents. In the summer of 1967, he was a visiting member of the faculty at Indiana University, and, from January to July of 1987, was a visiting scholar in philosophy at Cambridge University, England.
Upon retirement from Wichita State University in 1992, he and Tula moved to Pawnee. They enjoyed traveling the world. One of the more memorable trips was to the Holy Land. As Dr. Perel’s health declined, they spent more time at home in Pawnee.
Dr. Perel was a member of the First Baptist Church in Pawnee where he enjoyed teaching a men’s Sunday School class, and attending the other services at the church. He was also a 58 year member of the Masonic Lodge.
Dr. Perel is survived by: wife: Tula Perel, Stillwater; daughters: Elizabeth Deckard and her husband, Dwayne, Wichita, Kan., Shirley King and her husband, Tod, Wichita, Kan.; stepchildren: Teresa Petersen and her husband, John, Pawnee, Lenora Rawdon and her husband, Larry, Wellston, Dan Ripley and his wife, Pam, Pawnee, Susan Hartle and her husband, Paul, Plano, Texas; four grandchildren; nine step-grandchildren; 14 step-great grandchildren
Plus a number of other relatives, and many friends.
Dr. Perel was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Ada Gaskill and his daughter, Cathy Perel.
Services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday at the First Baptist Church, Pawnee, with Dr. Charles Womack officiating. Interment will be at Highland Cemetery, Pawnee, under the direction of Poteet Funeral Home, Pawnee.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation of Oklahoma, 720 W. Wilshire, Suite 101H, Oklahoma City, OK 73116 or the First Baptist Church, 720 6th Street, Pawnee, OK 74058.