News From Terre Haute, Indiana


December 6, 2013

Joseph James Perona

BLANFORD — Joseph James Perona died Dec. 5, 2013, at his home in College Walk Retirement Community, Brevard, N.C. He was born on Mary 28, 1930, in Blanford, Ind.

He was a graduate of Rose Polytechnic Institute (now Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology) with a major in chemical engineering and minor in mathematics. He earned a Ph.D. degree from Northwestern University in 1956 in chemical engineering. He was associated with Oak Ridge National Laboratory for nearly 40 years at various times as a staff member or consultant, carrying out and publishing research work on radiochemical separation processes. He joined the faculty of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 1963 and remained a professor of chemical engineering there until his retirement in 1996, serving as head of the Chemical Engineering Department from 1984 until 1990. For a number of years he was a consultant to the Energy Research and Development Administration in Washington, D.C., and later to the Department of Energy Headquarters in Washington. His publications in archived engineering research journals and in national and international research symposia number about one hundred. He was a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and former chair of the Nuclear Engineering Division.

He is survived by his best friend and wife of 58 years, Martha Pauline Martz Perona; son, John of White Stone, Va.; daughter, Ann and son-in-law Dr. Jeffrey Glass of Rome, Ga.; daughter, Jane Perona Jarnigan of Knoxville, Tenn.; daughter, Mary Lee Perona of Cashiers, N.C.; seven grandchildren; sister, Nancee Margison of Downers Grove, Ill.; cousins, Rick Bertetto of Crete, Ill., and Don Bertteto of Rensselaer, Ind.

Joe loved hiking in the mountains. While in Knoxville he was a member of the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club, after retiring to Cashiers, the Nantahala Hiking Club, and after moving to College Walk Retirement Community in Brevard, the Pisgah Hikers. For six summers while in his 70’s he made hiking trips in the French and Italian Alps, the last when he was 79. He was a member of the Sierra Club and the Nature Conservancy.

A funeral mass will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, at 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church in Brevard. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Transylvania County Hospice, 1234 Asheville Hwy., Brevard, NC 28712 or Smile Train, Inc, 41 Madison Ave., 28th Floor, New York, NY 10010. Moody-Connolly Funeral Home and Crematory is caring for the family. Online condolences may be left at:


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