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James "Jim" R. Perigo, 87, of Evansville passed away unexpectedly Saturday, January 13, 2018 at Deaconess Midtown in Evansville.

Jim was born March 28, 1930 in Evansville to the late Earl and Helen Taliaferro (Tolliver) Perigo. A graduate of Bosse High School, he served his country during the Korean War when he was sent to Tokyo, Japan as a member of the US Army Military Police (MP) where he rose to the rank of Corporal.

A young brick mason and member of the bricklayers union, Jim started his own business in 1959-Bartley and Perigo Masonry Contractors. Community members will recognize many of his buildings: The Old National Events Plaza, Bower-Suhrheinrich Library on the U. of E. campus, the David L. Rice Library on the U.S.I campus and the Southern Indiana Career and Technical Center. In 1976 Jim started another business, B. & P. Supply.

Jim was an active member of Bethel United Church of Christ where he served as president of the church council and on several committees. He was inspired by his pastors and moved to help all of God's people. In 1976 he was among the 27 who helped Millard and Linda Fuller establish Habitat for Humanity International resulting in over 13.2 million people living in decent, affordable shelters worldwide. In 1980, Jim assisted Jubilee Partners refugee program by helping two Cuban Mariel boatlift refugees resettle in Evansville. In 1984 he was instrumental in working with the community to establish Habitat for Humanity of Evansville-an organization on track to build its 500th affordable home by the end of 2018. Jim was an early supporter in the 1991 creation of United Caring Services in Evansville- a shelter with services to end the cycle of poverty and homelessness. He was a humble man so few knew that in 1996 he received Leadership Evansville's first Lifetime Achievement Award. Apollo 13 Flight Director, Gene Kranz, gave the keynote address and presented the award honoring Jim's lifetime of services to the Evansville community.

Jim is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Patricia (Porter) Perigo and their four children: Deborah (Mike) Vannatter, Jay (Cindy) Perigo, Joan (Robert) English and Stuart (Brenda) Perigo, all of Evansville. Ten grandchildren and their spouses loved their "Poppy": Paul Vannatter, Sarah (Brian) Keith, Matthew Perigo, Kacie (Chris) Whiteley, Haley (Chris) Schmitt, Jacob English, Emily (Phil) Schuff, Reide Perigo, Derek Perigo and Kyle Perigo. Fifteen great-grandchildren adored their "Poppy": India Vannatter, Nathan Perigo, Lexi Perigo, Ryland Whiteley, Eislin Whiteley, Dylan Whiteley, Kahra Schmitt, Kainen Schmitt, Nyla Schmitt, Trace Schmitt, Keegan English, Kiyonna Kemp, Keslee Kemp, Kolton Schuff and Eliza Schuff.

The family invites the community to a celebration of Jim's life February 10, 2018 at Bethel United Church of Christ, 3029 N. Green River Rd., Evansville, IN for a 1:30 Memorial Service and 2:30-4:30 Visitation.

Memorial Contributions may be made to Bethel United Church of Christ, 3029 N. Green River Rd. Evansville, IN 47715:

Helping Hand Fund (to meet urgent needs in the community)
United Church of Christ/Disciples of Christ Habitat Build (multi-congregation effort to build a Habitat home in Evansville)