Perry O. Onstot, age 91, died peacefully at his home, on Friday, December 13, 2013.
He was born on January 11, 1922, in Maryville, Missouri to Perry D and Goldia Mae Onstot. Following high school in Lamar, MO, Perry joined the Civilian Conservation Corps, where he served in Idaho as Assistant Educational Advisor and Senior Leader. From 1942 to 1945, Perry proudly served in World War II as a gunner-armorer in the 392nd Bomb Group of the 8th Air Force.
Perry received an Honorable Discharge in July 1945, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education in 1948 from the University of Missouri, Columbia. He worked as a Vocational Agriculture instructor at Carl Junction High School from 1952 to 1954, then as Chief Agronomist at Thurston Chemical Company and W.R. Grace & Co. In 1962, he joined Standard Oil Company (Esso), and from 1965 to 1970, he served as Vice-President for Esso Agricultural Products in the Philippines. From 1970 to 1984, Perry worked as a consultant for the World Bank, serving in several Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Burma, Thailand, and others. From 1984 until his retirement in 1990, he was employed by Canpotex, Ltd., the world’s largest potash producer, to promote modern agricultural practices and improve crop yields in China. He lived in Hong Kong and traveled extensively in mainland China during that time.
After an exciting 40-year career that took him to nearly 90 countries, Perry retired to Kansas City where he enjoyed the company of his family, served as Onstot National Historian, attended local theatre and musical events, and re-established ties with his World War II crewmates, becoming an active member of the 8th Air Force Historical Society and the 392nd Bomb Group Association. Perry was a loving patron of the arts and enjoyed attending plays, visiting museums throughout the world, and amassed an impressive collection of primitive artifacts and art works from his many travels.
Perry will be remembered for his appreciation of hard work and sacrifice, dedication to family, and a deep love for his country. Most importantly, he had an abiding faith in the dignity of the human spirit. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
Survivors include his brother, James Melvin Onstot of San Francisco, California; wife (divorced) Doris Allison of Overland Park, Kansas; son, Jon and his wife Jill of Peculiar, Missouri; daughter, Meri Lee and her husband Robert Scagliotti of Overland Park, Kansas; daughter, Debra Clarke of Overland Park, Kansas; and five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Perry was preceded in death by his parents Perry and Goldia, and his adopted son James Lamont Onstot.
Services will be held at 11 AM., Friday, December 27, at McGilley and Hoge Chapel 8024 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park, Kansas, with a reception following the service. Burial will be held in private at a later date.
Memorial contributions are welcome and should be submitted to the Honor Flight Network, http://www.honorflight.org/donate-now/.
Thanks to the staff and volunteers of Omega Health Care for their hospice support.
Arr: McGilley & Hoge Johnson County Memorial Chapel, 8024 Santa Fe Dr., Overland Park, KS 66204.