Kevin Robert Perry, age 51, passed away at his Davis, California, home on April 2, 2023, after a courageous six-month battle with ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He passed away surrounded by love, with his wife and son at his side. He never accepted that his life was to be cut short, because he simply had too much left that he wanted to do for his family, community, and profession.
Kevin had many passions that he stayed true to throughout his life. He always loved golf and began playing at an early age, and he last picked up a golf club last October. The golf course was his “happy place”, and his memory for specific holes and past shots astounded his family. He played on the golf teams for both Elk Grove High School (class of 1989) and UC Davis (class of 1996). Luckily, after his eligibility for playing golf in college finished, he turned his efforts to studying landscape architecture with the hopes of someday designing sustainable golf courses.
He met his wife, Andrea, while at UC Davis. After graduating they married and moved to Portland, Oregon, to begin their careers. Kevin expanded his interests to designing sustainable green infrastructure solutions for stormwater, and he created his own professional niche. He went from offering to work for the City of Portland for free to becoming nationally recognized for his expertise in the area. Professionally, he was recognized for his forward-thinking yet simple designs, his relentless devotion to his ideas, and his humility. He was honored to receive a fellowship by his professional organization, the American Society of Landscape Architects, in recognition of his contributions to the profession and society.
Kevin also felt a strong desire to help guide and mentor the next generation of landscape architects. When the family decided to split their time between California and Oregon, he seized upon the opportunity to both start his own firm (Urban Rain Design) and try his hand at teaching at UC Davis. He was proud that while at the University, he was also able to create a student club to allow students to get hands-on experience designing and building green infrastructure projects in the local community, while also helping educate the public on the value of such projects. He strongly believed that the most beautiful projects were the simple ones.
Kevin loved time well-spent in nature and regularly took the family on trips to the beach and mountains. Summers were spent at favorite spots along the Oregon Coast and camping along the Sandy River. He enjoyed kayaking, hiking, and gardening with his family. He was always sure to make at least one annual trip to Tahoe to play in the snow and intermittent larger road trips to western National Parks, Yosemite being his favorite. He was thrilled to experience a new view through Yosemite Valley by kayaking down the Merced River with his youngest last May.
He was known among friends for his selflessness, his loyalty, and his genuine nature. Kevin always enjoyed playing sports with friends, from volleyball to soccer to baseball. It is a little-known fact outside his Portland dojo family that Kevin had a black belt in aikido. Friends will remember him for mixing up a darn good margarita, planning annual guy trips to watch football and baseball games, and having an affinity for Red Vines licorice. His generous spirit, friendly smile, and quiet humor were always welcomed at get-togethers and will be missed.
Kevin was a fabulously involved father, brave enough to drive two hours to take two active preschool-aged girls to the beach for an afternoon. And he was so dedicated, he was willing to take his son on all the Boy Scout snow-camping trips that Andrea refused to go on. Kevin made sure that his children were well-versed in 1980s movies and songs. He had an amazing auditory memory and brought forth smiles whenever he would repeat a collection of favorite movie lines. Kevin loved all of his extended family and, even though they were spread far, he made sure to visit regularly and stay connected as much as distance allowed.
Kevin is survived by his wife of 25 years, Andrea Carlassare; three children, Addison, Ava, and Mia; mother, Darlene Onstad; father, Thomas Perry; sister, Heather Boshers; brother-in-law, Benji Boshers; nephews, Evan and Cash; Andrea’s parents, Cynthia Conant & Martin Carlassare; her sisters Catherine Carlassare and Elizabeth Carlassare, brother-in-law Jon Gimpel, nephew Milo; and a household of pets, Shiloh, Sadie, Sprite, and chickens. The family will never feel whole again.
Kevin truly lived life to the fullest with love and devotion to his family and his career. He created a life intentionally lived, thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated, and ever hopeful. He made a lasting impression on the design world and inspired a new generation of landscape architects. He will be deeply missed by his colleagues, friends, and family.
A celebration of life will be scheduled for late spring/early summer 2023. In lieu of flowers, donations in Kevin’s memory may be directed to the Sustainable Design and Build Environment Endowment at UC Davis, online at https://give.ucdavis.edu/AHCE/123371.