Russell Elvin Perry, 85, who programmed the production of telephone dial equipment for the Western Electric Co., died Friday after a heart attack at Fairfax Hospital.
A 1914 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Mr. Perry worked for the Western Electric Co., in New York City for 37 years - from 1920-1957 - before coming to Washington to join the Defense Department.
During a seven year stay with the Defense department Mr. Perry helped to design and install a military communications system for Washington.
Born in Worcester Mass., Mr. Perry attended elementary and high school there. After leaving the Naval academy he stayed in the Navy and served on several battleships as a lieutenant commander.He was the engineering officer, responsible for the crew maintaining the mechanics of the ship, on several battleships.
At the start of World War 1 Mr. Perry was on a battleship near Scotland. He later served with a battleship that helped to blockade the English Channel and prevent German forces from invading England.
Mr. Perry resigned his Naval commission in 1920 and joined the Western Electric Co., as an electrical engineer.
At the beginning of the 1940s, when the Western Electric Co., decided to transfer its telephones from operator made calls to direct dialing. Mr. Perry was put in charge of assessing the needs of Western Electric affiliates around the country and producing the direct dialing equipment to meet their needs.
His title was Dial Program Specialist.
In 1957 he left the Western Electric Co. and came to Washington where he went to work for the Defense Department.
A resident of Falls Church for 20 years. Mr. Perry worked with the Defense Department until 1964 designing special communications systems for Washington and some of its nearby areas.
A member of the Telephone Pioneers. Mr. Perry was alumni secretary of the Class of 14 at the U.S. Naval Academy: a vestryman at St. Paul's Episcopal Church. Falls Church and a member of the Glencarlyn Civic Association.
Mr. Perry is survived by his wife, Jennie Belle, of the home in Falls Church: a son, the Rev. Canon Charles A. Perry of the District; two daughters Jennie Belle Biviano of Norwich, N.Y. and June Conklin of Burlington Vt, a brother, Milton a Perry of Holden Mass eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.