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Perry R. Duis

August 18, 1943 December 18, 2019
Perry R. Duis
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Obituary for Perry R. Duis

Perry R. Duis, age 76, a longtime resident of Naperville, IL, passed away on December 18, 2019, in Naperville. He was born on August 18, 1943, in Sterling, IL.

Perry is survived by his wife of 43 years, Cathlyn Schallhorn; son Tim Duis and daughter-in-law Erin Sullivan; and by several nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents Pearl (née Hemminger)and Frank Duis Sr., and his brothers Moe (Barb) Duis and Jack (Betty) Duis.

Perry grew up in Sterling, the son of a railroader and the youngest of three brothers. His teachers in the Sterling public schools nurtured his gift for writing and his interest in history.
Throughout his childhood, Perry and his mother would ride the train into Chicago for the day. He came to love the energy and variety of life in the city. After high school in Sterling, Perry chose to attend Northwestern University in Evanston. He never left the Chicago area.

Perry graduated from Northwestern in 1965 and earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago. He taught American history and the history of Chicago at UIC for forty-two years, until his retirement in 2010. He was honored twice, in 1976 and 2007, with UIC‘s Silver Circle Award in recognition of his teaching.

Perry wrote four books about Chicago—Chicago: Creating New Traditions(1976); The Saloon: Public Drinking in Chicago and Boston(1983); We’ve Got a Job to Do: Chicagoans and World War II (1992); and Challenging Chicago: Coping with Everyday Life, 1837-1920 (1998).Perry felt privileged to make a career of pursuing his interests and sharing them with others. He spent his life connecting Chicagoans to their history.

At home, he enjoyed the garden and the cats—his assistants, who kept the pages from blowing away.

We will remember him for his humor, his scholarship, and his quiet commitment to virtue and decency. He was a mentor to his students, an encouragement to his friends and colleagues, and a loving husband and father.

Interment was private. Arrangements by Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Naperville, IL. For more information, please call (630)355-0213.


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