Stephen B. Perry passed away at the age of 52 on December 3, 2011 at his home, after a brief, but courageous battle with cancer. A lifelong resident of Charlottesville, Steve was born on April 14, 1959 to loving parents Evelyn Gibson Perry and the late Thomas B. Perry. He was married in 2005 to his beloved wife Barbara Ringrose Perry, formerly of New York, who brought a very special light to his life.
In addition to his wife and mother, he is survived by his daughter Megan and her husband, Daniel Morris of Charlottesville, who is currently serving his country in Iraq. Megan brought Steve great joy in all of her accomplishments, and he took pride in helping raise her to be the admirable woman she is today.
Steve had a deep and special relationship with his sister Stephanie and her husband John Leech of Earlysville, and his brother Adam and his wife Heather Perry of Lake Monticello. Nieces and nephews Ellie, Cammy, Tori, Caleb, and Chrissy Leech and Noah, Ben and Andrew Perry will miss their Uncle Steve. Additionally, Steve will be greatly missed by his in-law family and nieces and nephews of New York. Barb and Steve also shared their home and affection with their many beloved cats and dogs.
After graduating from Charlottesville High School, Steve attended the University of Virginia, where he earned his degree in 1981 in International Relations.
Steve’s professional banking career spanned over 30 years. He began at National Bank and Trust Company, which became Jefferson National Bank, where he worked in an entry level position while attending the University of Virginia. He soon advanced to hold various senior executive positions, where he earned the enduring trust and respect of everyone with whom he worked. During this time, he attended several banking schools, including Stonier Graduate School of Banking, and received multiple financial certifications.
Steve has served as Virginia National Bank’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operations Officer since its inception in 1998. He has been instrumental in growing the bank from zero dollars to $500 million in assets, along with establishing the Bank’s subsidiary, VNBTrust, with over $560 million in assets under management. Steve was involved in every major strategic decision that VNB has made over the past 13 years. Steve likewise earned the abiding trust and esteem of the entire VNB Board of Directors, staff, and the many customers with whom he worked.
While quiet by nature, Steve was Virginia National Bank’s “E. F. Hutton,” because when Steve spoke, everyone stopped to listen. He had insight and tenacity allowing him to work with facts and figures in a wondrous way to make the most detailed facts, no matter how convoluted, appear simple so that projects could be pushed forward and numerous tasks completed. Steve never tired of learning or teaching throughout his stellar career. His nurturing and coaching manner has led many people to thank Steve for their own career in banking. In addition, Steve was a banker with a sense of humor. There will be no replacing his use of his favorite word “ox mix” and that wide-eyed stare when he was told something new that he liked - or hated. He had an engaging way of cocking his head, like his beagles, Jeeves and Jester, when he heard something he had not considered. It thrilled Steve that Adam, his younger brother, and Megan, his wonderful daughter, came to share in the legacy he helped create at VNB.
Steve’s meaningful legacy has extended into the community through his work with non-profit organizations. He spent the past several years serving on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Institute of Autism, where he has been an invaluable member of the Finance Committee. Many others in our community benefited from his leadership, as Steve previously served on the board of the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA and as Chairman of the Central Virginia Chapter of the American Red Cross and The Charlottesville Parking Center.
Steve will always be remembered as the quintessential gentleman and he truly touched the lives of everyone with whom he came in contact. He loved to listen to music and was an avid reader with a strong interest in history. Steve and Barb were able to travel to many places, including some of his favorite destinations: the Outer Banks, North Carolina; Jekyll Island, Georgia; and the 1000 Islands region on the St. Lawrence River in New York. One of their favorite activities was to play golf together.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Mark Prichard of the Martha Jefferson Medical Oncology Associates for his dedication and caring treatment of Steve. They are also grateful to the oncology nurses at UVA and Martha Jefferson hospitals, as well as Alan and Suzanne from Hospice of the Piedmont, for their compassionate care during Steve’s final months.
A memorial service to honor his distinguished life will be held on December 11, 2011 at 4 o’clock in the afternoon at Ivy Creek United Methodist Church, 674 Woodlands Drive. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Virginia Institute of Autism, 1414 Westwood Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22903 or to Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA, 3355 Berkmar Dr, Charlottesville, VA 22901.