Thursday, August 05, 1999

Wyoming man killed mountain climbing

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The body of a Wyoming man was recovered Wednesday after he died while climbing down a mountain in remote northern Washington the day before.

        Bruce F. Perry, 38, was in Washington for a family reunion and for his 20th high school reunion in Tacoma.

        On Tuesday, Mr. Perry and his best friend, Seattle photographer Steve Jewels, climbed to the summit of one of the Twin Sisters mountains in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, according to Detective Sgt. Larry Flynn of the Whatcom County, Wash., Sheriff's Department.

        On his way down, authorities said, Mr. Perry slipped on a steep snowfield on the side of the mountain at about 5,400 feet. He slid about 1,000 feet and was trying to stop himself when a bump in the terrain bounced him into the air, said Lt. Ron Peterson of the sheriff's department.

        Mr. Perry fell onto his ice ax, a common climbing tool. He was dead when Mr. Jewels reached him. Mr. Jewels hiked down the mountain for help.

        The men were climbing in an area about 15 miles south of the Canadian border, where record-breaking snowfall this year has kept climbing conditions dangerous, officials said.

        A lightning storm kept officials from recovering his body Tuesday night, and thick fog slowed the process Wednesday morning. A rescue squad recovered his body with a helicopter Wednesday afternoon.

        Mr. Perry's wife, Lisa, and three sons, ages 1, 4 and 7, traveled with him to Tacoma, where he was born and raised.

        Mr. Perry's neighbors said he was a kind man who spent his free time with his family.

        “He certainly enjoyed being with his children,” said Robert Boeh, a next-door neighbor. “He was a very attentive father.”

        Mr. Boeh has known the Perrys since they moved to Wyoming from Pleasant Ridge almost three years ago.

        “They are very kind, good people,” he said. “You couldn't ask for better neighbors.”

        Mr. Perry was a manager in the paper technology division of the Baby Care Global Business Unit at Procter & Gamble in Winton Hills.

        After his family reunion last weekend, he planned to attend this weekend's reunion of his class at Stadium High School in Tacoma. Mr. Boeh said Mrs. Perry plans to arrange a funeral service here.


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