September 6, 1924 – April 23, 2018


Dr. Carlyle Perry Schenk, 93, died peacefully at his Ridgeview Place apartment on Monday, April 23, 2018 in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota.

A memorial service will be held Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 12:00 Noon at the Benson Funeral Home Chapel, Saint Cloud, MN. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the funeral home on Thursday. Private burial service with full military honors at the Minnesota State Cemetery, Little Falls, MN, where he will be interred with his wife Lola.

C. Perry Schenk was born on September 6, 1924 to the late William Hicks Schenk and Minnie Gladys Bemis of Anoka, Minnesota, and grew up on the “Howling Hound Farm” located just north of Anoka (Ramsey Twp.), between the Mississippi River and Minnesota State Highway 10.

He attended a one-room schoolhouse and received an Elementary School Certificate in 1938. During his youth he was very active in local 4-H activities, winning numerous ribbons and awards, as well as in holding many county and state leadership positions. While attending Anoka High School, Perry was a member of the Student Council, the Hobby Club, the Debate Club, and the Drama Club, performing in two plays. During his senior year, he was also welcomed into the National Honor Society and graduated from Anoka High School on May 28, 1942. After graduation, he enrolled in the School of Engineering at the University of Minnesota, as well as taking on major responsibilities on his father’s farm.

On November 10, 1945 Perry married his high school sweetheart, Lola Margaret Gleason at the Congregational Church in Anoka, MN.

On March 25, 1946, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, sworn-in at Fort Snelling and transported to Fort Bliss, Texas where he completed the “Special Fire Control Gun Course” at the Anti-Aircraft Artillery School. T/3 Schenk was honorably discharged on April 3, 1947 and resumed his course work at the University of Minnesota four days later. On June 11, 1949 he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree with distinction in Vocational Agriculture.

In July 1949, Perry and Lola moved to Nevis, MN where he began his first teaching job as a Vocational Agriculture teacher. During his summers off from teaching high school, Perry continued his studies at the University of Minnesota, as well as correspondence courses from St. Cloud Teachers College, Lakewood Community College, the University of Hawaii, and the University of Chicago. He taught in Nevis until June 1955 when he accepted a Vocational Agriculture teaching position and FFA Advisor in the Sauk Rapids Public School system.

In August of 1961, Perry received his Master of Arts Degree from the University of Minnesota, and continued his education at the University of Minnesota, working toward a Doctorate. On October 1, 1969 he left teaching and was hired as Director of Vocational Education at the Minnesota Department of Corrections in St. Cloud. In 1972, he received his Doctor of Philosophy Degree from the University of Minnesota in Higher Education and Administration.

In addition to his distinguished career in education, Perry was a substitute school bus driver with the Larson Bus Company from 1955 to 1968, where he developed a bus driver safety training program, entitled “I Am A School Bus,” to help with training new bus drivers in the art of safe school bus driving. He also worked for WVAL and KFAM radio stations as the Agriculture news director from 1956 through December 1973; served three (two-year) terms as a Sauk Rapids School Board Member from 1977 to 1986; served in the St. Cloud and Paynesville U.S. Army Reserve units as a Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Noncommissioned Officer from 1975 through 1986, and received the Meritorious Service Medal for distinguished service in 1986. Throughout his life he was active in numerous local civic and service organizations, often in leadership positions.

Perry had a passion volunteering for his favorite organizations including 3,989 hours in the Wheel Chair Clinic, St. Cloud Veterans Administration Medical Center; a volunteer Naturalist at the Hindman DAR Settlement in Hindman, KY; for 27 years he was the Volunteer Civil Defense Director for the City of Sauk Rapids (September 1966 – March 1992); and from August 1972 until the present, he served as the Volunteer Chair for Region 4 of the Minnesota Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.

With his love for gardening, he became a Certified Master Gardener and served in both Benton, and Sherburne Counties. He logged over 1,645 volunteer hours in the Three Rivers Park District; and 1,110 hours at the Sherburne Wildlife Refuge from January 1998 through March 1914.

Perry was also a life member of the Grand Chapter, Royal Arch Masons of Minnesota joining the Lodge September, 1959 in Akeley, MN, later transferring to the North Star Lodge in St. Cloud. He also joined the Osman Shrine’s Go Kart Squad at the age of 70, and drove for over ten years until his wife Lola told him “quit while you are ahead!”

He is survived by brother, Steven Porter Shenk of West Jordan, UT; sister, Gladys Patricia Vomhof of Overland Park, KS; daughter, Roberta Kay (Anthony) Nathe of Sauk Rapids, MN; sons Michael Perry (Laura) Schenk of Madison, MS; Timothy Charles Schenk (Lois W.) of Apple Valley, MN; and Steven Barry (Julie) Schenk of Hastings, MN, as well as long-time companion “Twinkles” the cat. Nine grandchildren: Scott (Ann) Nathe, Meredith (Jay) Borst, Michael (Virginia) Schenk, Jr., John (Susan) Schenk, Meaghan Schenk, Stephanie Schenk, Samantha Schenk, Adam Schenk and Alex (Natalie) Schenk; along with eight great-grandchildren.

Perry was pre-deceased by his wife Lola Margaret (Gleason) Schenk, parents William and Minnie Schenk, brothers Rodney Schenk (infant), Sherwin Schenk, Warren Schenk and sister Pearl Schenk.