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Rev. Robert A. Perless

Date of Death: December 4, 2023

Date of Birth: September 16, 1937


Brunswick, ME – Rev. Robert (Bob) Perless died peacefully on December 4, 2023 in Brunswick, ME.

Bob was born in Shamokin, Pennsylvania on September 16, 1937, the elder of two children of Anthony and Margaret Perless. He graduated from Albright College (PA), New York Theological Seminary and New Brunswick (NJ) Seminary. While studying for the ministry he worked weekends for several years with the youth at the Community Church of Douglaston (NY). He also interned for a year in the Panama Canal Zone. Ordained in 1964 at the Parkway Community Church in Hicksville (NY), he served as associate/youth minister until 1970. For the next 35 years (1970-2005), he was the minister of the Church on the Hill (COTH) in Flushing, New York.

Under Bob’s charismatic leadership, the COTH became more actively involved in the Flushing community. A nursery school and a thrift shop were started in the 70’s and both are thriving today. Groups such as the Scouts, Alcoholics Anonymous and other self help and support groups were welcomed to meet there and a shelter for homeless women was organized. A superb music program under able organist/ choir directors enhanced the worship and helped to attract new members.

As the family grocery shopper, Bob started walking to the stores in 1974 during the gasoline shortage. Walking led to running and then some local 5K races. He set his sights on the NYC Marathon and completed 15 of them over the next 2 decades… with great support from family and parishioners. He wore a bright yellow shirt that read “REV BOB” – even complete strangers cheered for him by name.

Bob was happily married to Sue (Susan LANE) for nearly 60 years. They retired to Maine in 2005 to be closer to family. Together they enjoyed their home and gardens, the beaches and beautiful scenery of Maine. Bob did some preaching, pulpit supply and even had a very small congregation for a short time. He volunteered at the local animal shelter walking dogs and befriended “Mudge” who became a beloved part of the Thombs family.

Above all, Bob was a “people person” and a man of faith. He brought joy, love and laughter to this world for 86 amazing years. He made his mark on the lives of his family, friends, neighbors, parishioners and countless others.

He is survived by his wife Sue, his brother Bill Perless (wife Judy Perless) and two children Robert Perless Jr. (partner Michelle Wieler) and Kathy Perless (husband Norman Thombs). Bob was also blessed with five grandsons – Dylan, Luke and Ethan Thombs & Robert III and Andrew Perless.

The family is deeply grateful to the staff of the Garden Memory Care and CHANS Hospice in Brunswick, Maine for providing compassionate support when Bob was no longer able to fully care for himself.

A private ceremony will be held at a later date.

If desired, and in lieu of flowers, contributions in Bob’s honor may be given to The Church on the Hill, Flushing, NY or a hospice of your choice.

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