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The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

Student news without fear or favor

In Memoriam: Sac State alumnus Richard Perry

From+his+time+as+a+student+to+working+on+our+campus+and+serving+as+President+of+the+University%E2%80%99s+employees+union%2C+Richard+Perry+will+be+remembered+as+a+memorable+part+of+the+Sac+State+community.+His+legacy+lives+in+the+many+progressive+communities+he+served+during+his+time.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Linda+Roberts.+Graphic+created+in+Canva+by+Analah+Wallace%29
From his time as a student to working on our campus and serving as President of the University’s employees union, Richard Perry will be remembered as a memorable part of the Sac State community. His legacy lives in the many progressive communities he served during his time. (Photo courtesy of Linda Roberts. Graphic created in Canva by Analah Wallace)

Former alumnus and groundskeeper to Sacramento State Richard Perry passed away at the age of 67 on Jan. 15.

Perry attended Sac State from 1975 to 1979 where he pursued and earned a degree in government. While in attendance at Sac State, he was also an active member of an organization called the Progressive Alliance, a multi-race group focused on social justice, peace and the building of progressive power, according to their Facebook page.

Perry was heavily involved with civil rights work, as well as both anti-police brutality work and prison reform. He took in animals and people in need of homes.

Perry was active in the support of progressive communities including disability rights, housing for those experiencing homelessness and animal rescue.

“We fed people in our home from our door,” Perry’s wife Linda Roberts said. “Some young men have grown near us and all just loved Rick.”

Perry and his wife also raised five kids who were part Cherokee.

“We were very active in the Native American Parents Committee and often attended Pow Wows or Big Times,” Roberts said. “We could do a mean round dance or grass dance.”

Perry also took in three neighborhood children who didn’t have homes and helped several adults who needed meals or a place to stay, said Roberts.

Throughout his time at Sac State, Perry fell in love with being outside, which motivated him to be a groundskeeper on campus for 30 years. He went on to get a certificate in horticulture at Sacramento City College.

Alongside working as a groundskeeper, Perry also served as President of the University Employee’s Union, and worked in the Sac State Housing Department for 30 years.

Perry lived from 1956 to 2024 and is remembered for his kindness and unwavering willingness to give back to the Sacramento community. Donations are being made in his name to two charities, one being the Sacramento Homeless Organizing Committee.

Retired SHOC member Paula Lomazzi said both Perry and his wife were largely involved in advocacy for affordable housing and progressive issues. Lomazzi said that Perry and Roberts were both main volunteers for the Community Dinner Project, which provided meals every Tuesday to those living in poverty.

“I would run into them at almost every community event because they would have a table,” Lomazzi said. “Our community was enriched and bettered by Richard’s life and dedication.”

The Parkinson’s Association of Northern California also has donations being received in Perry’s honor to bring awareness to the degenerative illness.

“Richard Perry was a special and brave individual,” PANC said in a statement. “The Parkinson Association of Northern California is incredibly grateful that donations in his honor will benefit local services and resources for individuals who are affected by Parkinson’s disease.”

His funeral service will be held at Thompson Rose Chapel today at 3 p.m. located on 5th Avenue.

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About the Contributors
Christa Ison, News Staffer
(she/her) Christa Ison is a senior transfer student from American River College, majoring in journalism. Returning to The State Hornet, her goal is to advocate and become a voice for the disabled community.
Analah Wallace, News Editor
(they/them) Analah is in their second semester at The State Hornet and their first semester as the news editor. Their passion lies in news reporting and they hope to use their time on the publication to bring back an appreciation for general news writing. Their overall goal is to make the public trust in journalists again, and they hope to one day be a journalist in a big city.
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