Bill Text: MS HR93 | 2019 | Regular Session | Engrossed

Bill Title: Honorable Felix Edwin "Ed" Perry; mourn the loss and commend the life, legacy and service of upon his passing.

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Passed) 2019-03-21 - Enrolled Bill Signed [HR93 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2019-HR93-Engrossed.html


2019 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Representatives Reynolds, Gunn

House Resolution 93

(As Adopted by House)


     WHEREAS, it is written in II Corinthians 4:17-18, "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen:  for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal," and as such, the immaculate author and finisher of our soul's destiny summoned the mortal presence of dearly beloved former State Representative, the Honorable Felix Edwin "Ed" Perry, to rest eternally, on Tuesday, January 15, 2019, as he has made life's final transition from earthly travailing to heavenly reward, rendering great sorrow and loss to his family and friends; and

     WHEREAS, the Oxford Community and the entirety of the State of Mississippi lost a wonderful friend and statesman with the passing of Mr. Perry, born in San Diego, California, to the late Felix Everett Perry and Minnie Heald Koelsnick, and raised in Oxford, Mississippi, the north Mississippi college community that would be his forever home, and the citizens of whom he would serve as a shrewd barrister of the law and a public servant as an elected member of the Mississippi House of Representatives for 32 years, and there is now a hush in our hearts as we come together to pay our respects to the memory of one who has been called to join that innumerable heavenly caravan; and

     WHEREAS, a graduate of University High School in Oxford, Mr. Perry received a bachelor's degree from the University of Mississippi in 1964 and his law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1967, and within a few months of receiving his law degree, he began his legislative campaign for House District 12 in Lafayette County, taking office in January 1968, after a successful bid; and

     WHEREAS, throughout his long and distinguished legislative career, Ed held numerous positions of leadership, including having served as Chairman of the House Appropriations, Constitution, Judiciary "A," Judiciary En Banc and Municipalities Committees, and as a long-time member of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee; and

     WHEREAS, Mr. Perry also has served as a member of numerous special committees, including:  a joint legislative study committee on capitated managed care for Medicaid recipients; the Joint Committee on Compilation, Revision and Publication of State Legislation; a special committee to evaluate the medical malpractice insurance program in the state; and study committees on governmental reorganization, improving the state's educational system and the need for an intermediate appeals court; and

     WHEREAS, one whose legislative pedigree is as legendary as his powerful oratorical skills, as noted in his recitation of Judge N.S. "Soggy" Sweat's famous "Whiskey Speech," Mr. Perry, perhaps better than most, understood the immense power that came from chairing the House Appropriations Committee, and he used that power to benefit public education at all levels, specifically for the whole of the state's higher education system by inviting the presidents of the eight public universities to testify before the committee and afford them a fair hearing to specify their legislative wish lists; and

     WHEREAS, his diminutive physical stature invited the nickname "Stump," and he wore it well, actually turning it to his advantage, and while in his prime, Ed's challenged height was accentuated by a thick neck, short arms and a face reddened by exertion or the passion with which he was delivering a speech on the floor of the House, as his prowess as a speaker was unmatched and neither his size nor the high pitch of his voice lessened his impact; and

     WHEREAS, once called the "icon of the Mississippi Legislature," Mr. Perry's combination of tenure, skill, hard work, speaking ability and good humor was unmatched among lawmakers, which enabled him to be a leader who promoted law and order, as he championed the 1996 legislation to authorize 32 new assistant district attorneys around the state and to provide for additional criminal investigators in four districts; and

     WHEREAS, through his dedication, progressive leadership and personal integrity, Mr. Perry earned the respect of his fellow House members and his congenial nature conveyed a positive influence on all who had the pleasure of working with him and hearing him say in tense moments of the legislative process, "Now, let's all be sweet"; and

     WHEREAS, even in his retirement as a legislator, the profound and lasting impact made in his 32 years of elected service and the wisdom acquired in those years were not far removed from the hallowed halls of the Mississippi State Capitol, where he was elected by his former colleagues to serve as Clerk of the House for the 2000-2004 term; and

     WHEREAS, in addition to his public service as a state legislator, Perry also represented the City of Oxford for 19 years and the Lafayette County Board of Education for 12 years as board attorney, and his storied career of public legal service was not without the fanfare of honor, including:  having been recognized by the Mississippi Bar Association for 50 years of being an attorney; honored by Ole Miss for his long-time service to the State of Mississippi; the City of Oxford named a street after him, the Ed Perry Boulevard; and his great friend, the renowned Mississippi writer Willie Morris, once said that "Ed was sui generis a little of Tom Jefferson, Abe Lincoln and Mark Twain.  Suffused with intelligence and courage.  To me, he vibrates with the best of life"; and

     WHEREAS, though he has traversed life's river to reunite in glorious celebration with those loved ones who made life's transition to eternity before him, including his parents and his brother, David Perry, the legacy of Ed Perry's indelible imprint upon our lives will continue to refresh the hearts and fond memories of his beloved survivors:  daughters, Melissa Dooley and Martha Perry; longtime-friend and companion, Patricia Evans; sister, Susan Moore; brother, Dr. Ronald Perry; two grandchildren, Olivia Dooley and Landon Smith; former wife, Rosalyn Neilson Perry; law partner and best friend, Glen Alderson; and a host of other colleagues and friends; and

          WHEREAS, we encourage the family of Mr. Perry to take solace in these words recorded in II Corinthians 1:3-4 - "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God"; and

     WHEREAS, it is the policy of the House of Representatives to commend the life of a genuine and selfless individual as the Honorable Felix Edwin "Ed" Perry, whose life's light illuminated the path of hope, fairness and diplomacy for all he encountered along his earthly sojourn, as evidenced in James 4:14 - "For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away":

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby mourn the loss, commemorate the life and legacy of the Honorable Felix Edwin "Ed" Perry, to whose family and friends we express sincere and deepest sympathy upon his passing.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to the family of the Honorable Felix Edwin "Ed" Perry and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.