Ernest Genesis Pero Jr., dedicated family man and Rotarian, died Feb. 21. A resident of Lemon Grove for 26 years, he was 80.
Pero served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years, from 1956 to 1975. During his service, Pero earned the Navy Achievement Medal in 1971 and was on Bikini Atoll for the atomic bomb test in 1958. He served on the USS Constellation during the Vietnam conflict and assisted the survivors of the USS Pueblo incident following their release from a North Korean prison.
After retiring from the Navy as senior Chief Personnelman, he founded , a real estate and property management company located at 7227 Broadway.
Pero was a dedicated member of the Lemon Grove community, serving the Rotary Club for more than 20 years.
“We’re going to miss him a lot,” said Kathy Olsen, treasurer of the Rotary Club of Lemon Grove and owner of RCP Brick & Block.
Pero served as Rotary president twice in his 21 years with the service organization, and was the chair of the membership and community service committees. He served as president of the district council for Rotary District 5340 from 2004 to 2005.
He will be remembered for his warm demeanor and friendly disposition.
“He was a gentleman,” Olsen said. “He loved God, he loved his family and he loved Rotary.”
Others are remembering him warmly as a leader, husband and neighbor in an online guest book at the Conrad Lemon Grove Mortuary web site.
“Dee you were blessed with a husband that paved the way for many African American Realtors. I give God praised for his encouraging words, and faithful examples of a prudent leader!”—Beverly Miller, Upgroup Realty
“So sorry to read of Ernie Pero's passing. He was a kind gentleman and an involved community member and a welcome addition in our school office when he came to visit his son's class at school. My sympathy and thoughts to his family.”— Charlotte Preston
“Lemon Grove will not be the same without the calm, steady presence of my dear neighbor Ernie Pero. For over twenty five years I lived just three doors away. Always cheerful, always right (well, almost always), always fair and just in his contact with others on McKnight Drive, Ernie, you will be sorely missed.”—With respect, Ben Taylor
Pero is survived by his wife of 30 years, Doretha; a son, Ernest Genesis Pero III; and stepson, Lawrence Dwayne Felton.
Visitation is from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at . Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at Word of Life Worship Center, 8691 Echo Drive, La Mesa. Burial with full military honors will follow at Miramar National Cemetery.
Memorials are suggested to the American Kidney Fund, 6110 Executive Blvd., Suite 1010, Rockville, MD 20852.