Col. Joseph Paul Perlow
passed away at age 83 on Jan. 23 in Palm Desert, Calif., after a long battle with cancer.
Joe was born on Nov. 29, 1930, to SSGT David Perlow and Ruth Elizabeth Perlow at Walter Reed Army Hospital in the District of Columbia. Joe was raised in a typical and comfortable Army family and over the years graduated from Manheim Township High School in Pennsylvania, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and received his master's degree from University of Indiana. While at West Point, Joe was a nationally ranked pole-vaulter on the Army track team.
Following the graduation from West Point, Joe entered the Army and embarked on a long, satisfying and distinguished career. Joe married Louise Rosser. From that marriage came Joe's three sons: Robert, John and Rick who presently live in the state of Washington.
Joe's military assignments included service in the 11th, 101st and the 82nd Airborne Divisions. Almost all of his assignments were command positions of artillery. During the Vietnam War, Joe served with MACV as a Sub-Sector Advisor in the province of Quang Tri. After his first tour in Vietnam he served in the Office of Personal Operations, was promoted to LTC and returned to Vietnam to command the 4/42 FA Battalion with the 4th Infantry Division and later in that tour as Protocol Officer of USARV. Following Joe's second Vietnam tour he was assigned to command the 5/81 FA Battalion of the 3rd Airborne Brigade of the 8th Infantry Division in Manheim and Bad Kreuznach Germany. He finished his European tour as the Inspector General of the 8th Infantry Division.
After Joe's European assignment, he attended the Defense Language School in Monterey, Calif., and was posted as the Army Attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, then, Yugoslavia. After that assignment he returned to the United States where he finished his Army career at the Army Readiness Command Region III at Ft. Meade, Maryland. Joe retired as a Colonel on July 31, 1979.
Following his military career Joe studied podiatric medicine at Illinois College of Podiatric Medicine where he received a doctor's degree. Until his recent illness, he practiced medicine in Florida and Big Bear, and for the past 11 years has worked in Palm Springs while living with his best friend and partner, Ms. Elaine Reynolds. He also assisted Ms. Reynolds with her craft jewelry shows.
Joe's greatest enjoyment in his retirement years has been his acting "career" with the Community Arts Theater Society (CATS) in Big Bear, Calif. He appeared in 12 CATS' stage productions including A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Music Man 1997 & 2004, Inherit the Wind, Man of La Mancha, My Fair Lady 2001, The Odd Couple 1998 & 2000, Guys and Dolls, and A Thousand Clowns. His last and favorite role was as Col. Pickering in the CATS' 2011 production of My Fair Lady.
In lieu of flowers, it is requested that donations be made to the Community Arts Theater Society in Joe's memory. Donations can be mailed to CATS, P.O. Box 400, Big Bear City, CA 92314.