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Rick Perry’s father, Joseph “Ray” Perry, dies

Joseph “Ray” Perry, father to former Texas governor and U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, died Thursday.

Gov. Perry greets veteran Thomas Ellis as Perry's father Ray Perry smiles during a ceremony commemorating World War Two veterans on the Senate floor on May 8, 2013.

Joseph “Ray” Perry, father to former Texas governor and U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, died Thursday.

In multiple tweets Friday, Rick Perry posted a picture of himself with his father, remembering him as a World War II veteran and great-grandfather, among other things. 

"Here's to a life well lived, Dad," Perry said in a tweet. "Thank you for the blessings you gave us, and we will miss you every day." 

News of Ray Perry’s passing was also announced on the Texas House floor Friday by state Rep. Drew Springer, R-Muenster.

Ray Perry and his wife, Amelia, were tenant farmers in Paint Creek — a small town north of Abilene. He previously served as Precinct 3 Commissioner for Haskell County for nearly 30  years.

In a Facebook post Friday, Deirdre Delisi, Rick Perry’s former chief of staff, wrote that Ray Perry “was a man of few words, but when he spoke, it was memorable.”

“He was a West Texas farmer straight out of central casting. While he is now best known as the father of a former governor of this great state, few know that he also served as Haskell County commissioner, school board member and WWII tail gunner,” Delisi wrote.

Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement Friday afternoon on Ray Perry's passing. 

"Ray Perry was a true Texan in every sense of the word, and he embodied the values of faith, family and freedom that we in the Lone Star State hold dear," he wrote. "We ask that all Texans join us in offering their prayers for the Secretary’s family as they as mourn the loss of a great man."

Read related Tribune coverage: 

  • If Rick Perry felt like the center of the universe in his first 18 years, he couldn’t have been faulted for it. Life in his tiny hometown of Paint Creak revolved around children — their school, their scouting, their sports. 

Disclosure: Deirdre Delisi has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors is available here.

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