Charles H Perret
Retired UConn Math Professor
After a long and very fulfilling life, I, Charles H. (Chuck) Perret of Torrington and Cable Head East, PEl, Canada died on December 16, 2020 at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital of complications from COVlD-19 Because of an epidemic at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, my twin sister Lucille and I were born at home in Torrington on January 22, 1929; the children of Alice and Fritz Perret.. In 1959, I married Gloria McKinnon of Litchfield, whom i met when we were both teaching at Litchfield Jr./Sr. High School. For the last 61 years it has been ”Gloria and Chuck”.
I am predeceased by my mother, father, stepmother Aurelia, sister, Henrietta Barton of West Hartford, brother, Art, nephew, Wayne Barton of Simsbury and many beloved pets. l am survived by my much loved wife and best friend, Gloria, my twin sister Lucille Lynch, Gloria’s Sister, Betty Locke of Litchfield, her daughter Jackie Mills, 2 nieces, a nephew and many good friends here and in Canada.
A lifelong resident of Torrington, I graduated from Torrington High School in 1946, from the University of Connecticut with a BA in Math in 1950, from Trinity College with a MA in 1957 and from Wesleyan University with an Advance MA in Math in 1966. l also took graduate studies in Math at Yale University and New York University.
After graduation from UConn, l enlisted in the US Air Force in 1951. After completion of Basic Training, l went to Korea with the 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing as a F-86 Jet Fighter—Bomber
Pilot. l returned to the States in 1954 and for the next year I delivered jets to Europe for which I received a High-Flight Accomplishment Certificate. I was a member of the Mach Buster’s Club, those who exceeded the speed of sound in an F-86 Sabre jet. I received an Honorable Discharge in 1955. My days in the Air Force are unforgettable.
l began my teaching career in 1956 as Head of the Math Department at Litchfield High School. In 1961 l relocated to Regional School District #10 (Lewis 5 Mills) as Chairman of their
Math Department. In 1965 when the University of Connecticut opened the Branch in Torrington, I became the Chairman of the Math Department, retiring in 1988. The closing of
the Branch was a big disappointment to me.
In 1960 Gloria and I, Gloria’s parents and Gloria’s two nieces took a trip to Prince Edward Island, Canada —my first (Gloria’s parents were born there). In our last four days there Gloria and I bought a 75 acre abandoned farm at Cable Head East on the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Because I was still flying and needed a landing strip, we bought the adjoining 132 acres. Even though I continued to travel, we spent every summer on PEl for 58 years. I truly had found a piece of heaven on Earth. In 2010 we donated 174 acres to the P.E.lsland Nature Trust for preservation. It is now designated as the Perret — McKinnon Natural Area. Upon our deaths the remaining 33 acres and buildings will be inherited and preserved by a cousin of Gloria’s.
| always preferred outdoor activities with the exception of winter tennis, which I reluctantly gave up at 87 because of a blood clot. I had climbed the Grand Tetons while in the service, but my most rewarding climb was the Matterhorn in 1958. No guides were available, but I got to the Summit in one day; other trips to Switzerland skiing only. My longest hike was the Appalachian Trail in 1975—1976. I wish I had brought my dog along. I had sailed in the Caribbean and the California Coast, but the most exciting was the Strait of Gibraltar in 1978. l was fortunate to have seen all of Western Europe, Scandinavia and Denmark, but the most interesting was Eastern Europe in 1990 after The Wall came down. A good friend, Dick Gilman and l spent 3 weeks there. Dick and I also traveled several times to Newfoundland often on supply boats. He was a great travel companion.
I enjoyed living and growing up in Torrington. I felt that preserving the history of Torrington was important and I became a long time member of the Torrington Historical Society and the Torrington Historic Preservation Trust.
These are the personal memories of Charles (Chuck) Perret who lived a rich and full life for 91 years. in light of COVlD-19, a graveside burial with Military honors will be held at a later date in the McKinnon family plot at St. Anthony’s cemetery, Litchfield. Memorial contributions in Chuck’s name may be made to the Torrington Historical Society, 192 Main Street, Torrington, CT 06790 or the charity of your choice.
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