Joe E. Perez instilled strong family values in his children.
“He always told us whatever we did, to do it well,” his daughter Christin Ferro said.
Perez loved family gatherings, from small birthday celebrations to huge extended family dinners.
“He instilled in us our financial ability,” Ferro said. “If we couldn’t pay for it, we didn’t need it.”
Perez loved to tinker.
“He could fix anything that was broken,” Ferro said. “We could bring it to dad, small engines, weed whackers, lawn mowers.”
Perez, 86, of Griffith, took pride in making sure his family was well-provided for. Married 64 years to Ruth, the couple, who lived in the same building, met through Ferro’s cousin Virginia. Her parents’ values were a perfect match, she said.
Stationed in Germany more than a year during World War II, Perez was an Army infantryman.
“He was very happy to serve his country,” Ferro said. “He was proud to be an American. He thought everyone should be in the service to help their country.”
Employed at Inland Steel 45 years, Perez didn’t like to work overtime.
“If he worked overtime it was only because somebody showed up late,” Ferro said. “He always had work to do. He was always fixing things. He loved fixing things and doing home improvement projects. He would get the book, figure it out and make his plan.”
Perez’s hobby was spending time in his garage.
“He loved his garage and tinkering in there,” Ferro said. “That was his pride and joy where he relaxed. He was always thinking. He never got lazy.”
Ferro said she misses not having her dad around to teach her how to fix things anymore.
“He was always there for us growing up,” she said. “He changed the diapers and helped with the cleaning. His family was everything to dad.”