Obituaries » Waller Stephen “Steve” Perrow
Waller Stephen “Steve” Perrow, II of Lynchburg, Virginia, passed away peacefully on October 20, 2021, at the age of 90, with his wife, Betsy, of fifty-six years by his side.
Born on July 14, 1931, he learned his work ethic at an early age on the family farm, Berkeley, and on his parents’ cattle farm in north Bedford County. At the age of 12, he told his parents, Douglas and Waller Perrow, he planned to “wear suits and walk on pavement to work.” Steve fulfilled his proclamation, becoming his family’s first generation to pursue a non-agricultural career—and the former family farm in Perrowville remains an unincorporated district of Bedford County to this day.
Steve was well known as an intellectual scholar throughout his academic years. He graduated from Bedford High School in 1949 with an Annual Staff Honorable Mention. While there, he served as editor of the newspaper and yearbook, Consul of the Latin Club, and a member of the Beta and Hi-Y clubs. He was voted “Most Likely to Succeed,” “Hardest Worker,” and “Neatest” in his class.
In 1953, Steve graduated cum laude with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he held multiple leadership positions and received many honors of distinction: Steve was the permanent Class Secretary and Treasurer, Regent of Kappa Psi, Rho Chi (The Pharmacy honorary society), Student Government Counselor, Secretary/Treasurer of the Order of the Well (An honorary organization to honor students for exemplary and otherwise unrecognized service to the university), Chairman of the University Dance Committee, Men’s Honor Council, Chairman of the 1953 Senior Social Committee, Mr. Alumnus 1953, Most Outstanding Student 1953, the Order of the Golden Fleece (Oldest and highest honorary society at UNC), the John Johnson Parker, Jr. Medal, the Buxton Williams Hunter Medal, the Order of the Grail (the first School of Pharmacy student ever inducted into this UNC honorary society that recognizes extraordinary contributions of university men), the Card Board Award, Sweetheart of Sigma Chi and the Rho Chi Award. In addition, Steve was awarded the 1953 Student Body Award presented to the student emulating the highest qualities of character, deportment, scholarship, participation in extracurricular activities, and promise of future distinction.
Following UNC, Steve’s pharmaceutical career began in Cary, North Carolina. Years later, in 1960, he purchased Rivermont Pharmacy in Lynchburg to be closer to home. He joyfully ran his pharmacy for a decade. During this time, he married Betsy and embarked on their journey of raising a family. After selling Rivermont Pharmacy in 1970, Steve spent several years working in the industry for the Commonwealth of Virginia and eventually joined his friend NaeHugh Pearson at Pearson’s Drug Store in Boonsboro. At Pearson’s, Steve was able to serve his community with prescriptions, delivery of goods to a doorstep, or administration of a necessary vaccine to someone in their car. He knew everyone and their family members by name. Additionally, he was also able to recite their address, phone number, and their next of kin from memory! After more than three decades, Pearson’s Drug Store closed its doors in Boonsboro. Steve moved across the parking lot to enjoy another decade of serving the neighborhood at Kroger Pharmacy and subsequently concluded his career there, retiring on his 80th birthday. As his best friends would often say, “Steve Perrow was born to serve.”
Dedicated to his professional life, Steve enjoyed working six days a week, always reserving Sundays for church and family. He was an active member of Saint John’s Episcopal Church, serving several terms on the Vestry and as Head Usher for several decades. He and his son, Waller, were the ushers of the midnight Christmas Eve service for more than 20 years. Following retirement, he remained active with St. John’s Episcopal Church and enjoyed volunteering at Virginia Baptist Hospital.
Steve is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Estelle Perrow (Betsy), of Lynchburg; son, Waller S. Perrow, III of Smith Mountain Lake (partner Kelly Elizabeth Drinkard and daughter, Maddison); and daughter and son-in-law, Dr. and Mrs. Richard J. Sterne, III (Sarah Elizabeth and Ricky) of Lynchburg. With Steve’s dedication to education, he would be proud to share that his survivors also include three studious grandchildren, R. Joseph Sterne, IV (Joseph) attending the University of Virginia, Ashby Perrow Sterne (Row) attending Washington & Lee University, and George Alexander Sterne (Alex) attending Virginia Episcopal School. He is also survived by his niece, Mary Lyn Bixby, the daughter of his late sister, Betty Perrow Barnett.
The Reverend Chris Roussell of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Chaplin Adam White of Virginia Episcopal School, and the Reverend William Deal of Westminster Canterbury will officiate a memorial service at 1:00 PM on Sunday, October 31st. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the audience is limited to immediate family, and the residents and staff of Westminster Canterbury. For those who would like to attend virtually, the service will be live streamed on YouTube, https://tinyurl.com/StevePerrow.
Following the service at Westminster Canterbury, a reception will be held at Boonsboro Country Club at 3:00 PM for the greater community who wish to celebrate Steve’s life with friends and family.
In lieu of food or flowers, the family kindly requests donations be shared with The Westminster Canterbury Foundation and/or St. John’s Episcopal Church.
The family would like to extend their appreciation to the staff at Westminster Canterbury and Hospice for their loving and compassionate care for both Steve and his family.
Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family.
Due to Covid restrictions, only immediate family and the Westminster-Canterbury community including all residents and full-time staff are allowed for the in-person memorial service at 1PM on Sunday, October 31, 2021 on the 2nd Floor Mezzanine at Westminster-Canterbury. For those who would like to attend virtually, the service will be live Streamed at this YouTube link: https://tinyurl.com/StevePerrow A reception will be held at Boonsboro Country Club at 3 pm that afternoon for the larger community who wish to celebrate Steve's life with friends and family. A complete obituary will follow on Sunday, October 24th, 2021.
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