Obituary: Ronald Bertram Perring

RONALD BERTRAM PERRING 1942 – 2022

Ronald Perring died peacefully on July 8, 2022 in Lady Minto Hospital. He battled cancer for two years and suffered unbearable pain for several months. In May he was told there was nothing more that could be done for him. Ron went into hospital when he could no longer be cared for at home. He made the decision to put an end to the pain and signed up for Medical Assistance in Dying.

Ron Perring was born in England, growing up in Acton with his sister Laraine and his brother Victor. In 1967 he came to Canada with a friend. From Ontario he made his way west over the next couple of years. He arrived in Vancouver at a time when things were ‘happening’ and he soon made lots of friends. Ron met Doris St Germain in 1971 and they were together for 51 years, living in Vancouver, Burnaby, North Vancouver and the last 30 years on Salt Spring Island. In 1992 he went to England when his mother died, and reconnected with his daughter Katherine Perring and a few years later met his granddaughter Phoebe Person.

He was an amazing man who could turn his hand to whatever was needed. He was never bored and was always working on some project. He learned welding in England, but took up roofing in Vancouver. In the 80’s Ron was the president of the BC Dart Association. He decided to make darts and obtained a metal lathe, teaching himself how to operate it. After moving to Salt Spring in 1992, he studied everything about timber framing, built a shop and others on the island. He operated a portable sawmill. A recent interest was beekeeping, which lead to building bee boxes. Ron loved all kinds of wood and many pieces ended up in his shop for some future project.

Playing guitar was one of his hobbies and he made acoustic guitars, electric guitars, cigar box guitars and banjos. For many years he enjoyed playing music and singing with his friends Avril Kirby and Ron Miville as the Backyard Band. Ron was a member of the Salt Spring Tennis Association for years and played every week with his friends.

One of his unfinished projects was the restoration of a sports car. He sold it to a member of his car group, the Crank Cases. The group, along with the Salt Spring Cruisers, did a drive by for him at the hospital. The nurses rolled his bed outside and parked it in the ambulance bay. He was happy to see his bright red 1959 MGA fully restored.

Ron felt he was lucky to live on Salt Spring where he was so well looked after by the staff of Lady Minto Hospital and by the Community Health Services Nurses. Just before he passed, he started singing Into the Mystic. His passing was peaceful and we had to let him go just as he wanted. He is sadly missed by everyone who knew and loved him.

‘Let your soul and spirit fly ..… Into the mystic’

September 14, 2022 2:31 PM

  • harry warner says:

    A beautiful man; a master woodworker!
    I was blessed to work with him on a timber frame barn - 32 feet by 28 feet.
    When we put it ogether it was "OFF" by ONE HALF INCH at one corner!

  • Erica Ross says:

    Ron was such a special man and he and Doris made a terrific team. They were invaluable helping to create our island's indoor Tennis Centre...Ron could turn his hand to so many jobs, and will be remembered as much for his music and tennis as for his wood working!