HEAVENER—Ralph Jay Perdue Sr., 72, of Heavener, passed away Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011 in the Peachtree Hospice United at Sparks Hospital in Fort Smith. He was born Nov. 20, 1938 in Oklahoma City to Allie Andrew Perdue and Faye Sutton Perdue.
He graduated from Capitol Hill High School in 1956 and then played football for two years at Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton, where he was the first JUCO All-American at the school. He then played varsity football for two years at Central State University, graduating with a degree in history and physical education in 1960.
Perdue met Peggy Haney at EOSC and they married in June of 1959. For the next six years, he coached football and baseball at Southeast High School in Oklahoma City, where he had the privilege of coaching future New York Yankee great, Bobby Mercer.
In the summer of 1966, his family moved to Heavener, where he was the head football coach of the Wolves’ football team. He coached through the 1974-75 season, and was succeeded by Robert Swinford in the summer of 1975. He finished his Masters Degree in education from Northeastern State University in 1970.
After leaving his coaching post, Perdue assumed the duties of junior high middle school and principal and teacher until 1983, when he went to work as a teacher at Ouachita Correctional Center. Along with Bernie Bishop and Denton mead, the three started the first Adult Basic Ed and GED programs at the correctional center.
In 1986, Heavener superintendent Dale Elliott, coaxed him back to the be the assistant high school principal and teacher, where he served until retiring in 1991 after a 30-year career in public education.
He was a member of Heavener First Baptist Church and Heavener Lions Club for 45 years along with being a 32-degree Mason and a member of the local Masonic Lodge and Bedouin Shrine in Muskogee.
Perdue was also an avid golfer, spending the latter part of his life, when he wasn’t at school functions, trying to wear out the greens at Choctaw Country Club in Poteau. He had five holes-in-one, including four of them at Choctaw.
Funeral services are Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Heavener with interment at Memorial Park Cemetery under the direction of Dowden Funeral Home.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Al Wayne Perdue and Ted Perdue Sr.; a step father, Floyd Pruitt; a step-sister, Norma Jean McLemore; and a sister-in-law Norma Jean Perdue.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Peggy, of the home; two sons, Ralph Jr. and wife Shelly of Heavener, and Andy and wife Brenda of Poteau; three granddaughters, Aneisha Woods, Jenna Perdue and Journey Perdue; a grandson, Kirksey Perdue; a great-grandson, Cameron Prier; a nephew, Ted Perdue Jr.; and a niece, Shari Borth.