Age 82, of Vassar, Michigan, passed away on February 26, 2017, surrounded by loved ones. A memorial service will take place on Thursday, March 2, 2017, at 3:00 pm at Martin Funeral, Cremation & Tribute Service-Vassar. Pastor Jim Chinery to officiate, with burial of cremated remains to take place in Riverside Cemetery at a later date. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Thursday from 1:00 pm until time of service at 3:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital or a charity of the donor’s choice. Envelopes are available at the funeral home.
Born on January 28, 1935, in Detroit, Michigan, to John and Loretta (Hergott) Perrin, Len learned the value of honesty, hard work, and caring for others. In 1953, Len graduated from St. Anthony’s High School in Detroit and served for two years as a tank mechanic in the U.S. Army at Fort Hood, Texas, achieving the rank of Sergeant. Len worked at Pfeiffer Brewery while earning his license in refrigeration and pneumatic controls. While working at Chrysler Motor Company, Len accepted an offer from General Motors to help construct Nodular Iron Foundry in Saginaw, Michigan. He moved his young family to Vassar and worked for General Motors for 30 years, serving as chief engineer and superintendent of the powerhouse.
Len married Gwendolyn Riopelle on June 21, 1958, at St. David’s Catholic Church in Detroit. They embarked on a 58-year journey and she remained his lifelong love and companion. Len was admired for his intelligence, sense of adventure, and “can do” attitude, shown when he built a family cottage, restored an antique wooden speedboat, and built (but didn’t quite finish) a French fighter airplane. Len enjoyed boats, motorcycles, and airplanes. A private pilot, he flew locally as well as to Texas and Canada. In later years, Len enjoyed flying large scale model airplanes. He was also a licensed ham radio operator and meticulously restored antique radios. With an enduring love for his wife and family, Dad encouraged each of his children to pursue their interests. His often heard advice was: “Go out and have a ball!” For this gift of encouragement and adventure, his family is eternally grateful.
Leonard was preceded in death by his parents, John and Loretta Perrin. Those who will cherish his memory include his devoted wife, Gwendolyn; children, Deborah Perrin, Cynthia (Paul) Tetuan, Suzanne (Jeffrey) Nicholas, and John Perrin; sister, Bernice Ruth; and brother/sister-in-law, John and Sandra Schmitt. He also leaves his beloved grandchildren MacKenzie Ainsworth, Joseph Dean, Scott Dean, Alexander Nicholas, and Zarina Nicholas; great-grandchildren, Logan Scharff and Phiona Ainsworth; and many wonderful nieces and nephews.