Friends and family on both coasts are mourning the passing of long-time Salmon Creek resident Perry Mancusi. He was born May 2, 1948 and succumbed to a brief bout with cancer on September 27, 2012 at the age of 64.
A lovely ceremony and dinner were conducted on Perry’s behalf on Friday, Oct. 5 in Shelter Cove, where his spidery figure could often be seen sliding down a wave at Dead Man’s, or atop his paddleboard.
Approximately 20 friends paddled out to Wash Rock, Perry’s favorite spot in the Cove, where his ashes were spread, with flower petals, amidst a loving circle formed by his friends on their surfboards. A dinner, attended by 75 people, followed at the Cove Clubhouse.
Perry was born on May 2, 1948 in Levittown, New York, the son of Italian immigrant Ettore Mancusi, and Jean Hogan of Brooklyn.
In the early ‘70s, he and his long-time partner Linda Nusser were among a large group of friends from New York City and Long Island, who ventured west to buy a big tract of land in Salmon Creek, where most have lived to the present. The area became affectionately known throughout the community as "New York Hill."
If "one can take the man out of New York, but not New York out of the man," the adage applied to Perry. He was loved for his wicked, sardonic wit and his penchant for the irreverent. He stayed New York-tough to the end, living his last few days in the moment, without a whimper or complaint about his fate ("I’ve lived a great 64 years," he said, two days before his death).
A master guitar player himself, Perry for a few years hosted a radio show on KMUD, featuring cutting-edge, eclectic rock and roll.
Perry and wife, Linda, adopted the Hawaiian island of Kauai as a second home in the early ‘80s. They both became popular with the locals, while Perry became a regular during the winter months at Kealia Beach. His friends, "The Kapaa Boys," plan a similar ocean ceremony for Perry when some of his ashes return to the island with Linda.
Both Perry and Linda were very grateful for the wonderful support of their friendship circle and Southern Humboldt’s Heart of the Redwoods Community Hospice, during his last days.
Perry is survived by his two younger brothers, Tim and Bob, and the latter’s wife, Janene.
He also will be missed by nieces and nephews on Linda’s side of the family, his many friends in Salmon Creek, Southern Humboldt, the KMUD family and his many Hawaiian pals.
To Perry, we who remain behind him on earth can only say, sadly, "Aloha, Bruddah. It was a joy to know you. Thanks for all the laughs. We miss you already!"