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Football coach passes away after battle with cancer

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MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- A part of Michiana history is now missing— after the passing of beloved football coach, ross Perri, who died at the age of 69-after a battle with cancer.

Perri’s death is not only affecting his blood family but his work, football and Mishawaka community as well.

Ross Perri's voice has been a staple to the Mishawaka community for four decades.

Whether he was working at the high school, where Jerome Calderone, the School City Director of Human Resources and Student Services, "You didn’t have to worry about ross being at work every day you knew he was going to be there.”

Or the sidelines, where senior, Donovan Snyder, says "Coach was somebody who can tear you down and bring you up and think you’re the best player in the world in one sentence.”

Ross Perri was a special and beloved coach, colleague and friend.

Keith Kinder, football coach at Mishawaka high school says “but the fact that he’s not here is really sad.”

69-year-old, Ross Perri died on Wednesday at the Center for Hospice Care in South Bend after getting sick over thanksgiving and now, just two months later losing a difficult fight with a quick moving cancer.

Calderone says,"[Perri] has impacted a lot of people’s lives to see someone struggle like that you know it’s not easy.”

And everyone is thinking about his wife Linda, his 3 children, and the rest of his family.

Calderone continued, "His family was very important to him.”

Whether they were family by blood or not.

Perri commented in a Mishawaka Network interview, "My wife was raising my kids and I was raising everybody else’s.”

Perri touched lives every day, from his peers to his players, Snyder says "The example he set for me and all the other players we had on defense it really influenced me to play I’m college.”

He was the full package Calderone says, "He's just a good man, a good father, a good husband, excellent coach and you can’t find better friends than who ross Perri was.”

And a shining example to all he met.

Kinder says, “When you live a life like ross did. When you married for 40 years, coached for 40 years, had great relationships and all of it was in this community. Whether it was Marion, or Penn or Mishawka he loved this area, he loved athletics, and he’s going to be missed.”

The funeral service will be held this Saturday February 1st at 3 pm.

If you are looking to send memorial contributions, they will be taking donations to create the Ross Perri Scholarship Fund so that Perri will never stop being able to help the community and the students he loved so much.


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