James Edward Perry

June 18, 1915 – Dec. 9, 2009

 Volunteer, Historical Preservation Advocate

James Edward Perry, “Ed,” died peacefully at his home in Laguna Beach on Dec. 9 at the age of 94. He was born in Sioux City, Iowa. His family moved to Whittier, in 1930.

After graduation from UC Berkeley in 1937, Perry joined the family business H.J. Perry Furniture with his father and brother Bert.

Perry served the Whittier community as a member of the Whittier “Host” Lions Club, library board, Historical Society, the Whittier school board and the Red Cross.

A veteran of WWII, he met his wife Helen at a USO dance. They were married for 47 years and had four children: Sandy, Jim, Chris and Marge.

Upon retirement in 1985, Ed and Helen moved to Laguna Beach. When Helen passed away in 1990, Perry focused on his daily swim at the Surf and Sand, and community service, delivering Meals on Wheels, and serving as an officer and member of the Laguna Historical Society, Laguna VFW, the Laguna Lawn Bowling Club and St. Mary’s Episcopal Church.

Perry was preceded in death by his daughter, Sandy Perry, and son-in-law, Jim Townsend. He is survived by his wife, Connie; son, Jim Perry; daughters, Chris and Marge Perry, and stepchildren, John and Phil Anderson, and Connie Magdaleno.

Services will be held at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Laguna Beach on Saturday, Jan. 16, at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Laguna Beach Historical Society and Meals on Wheels. 

Additional information is available at


Gene Dippel

Sept. 9, 1937-Dec. 29, 2009

Gene Harvey Dippel, 72, died peacefully Dec. 29, 2009, from complications of pancreatic cancer. At his side, as he has been for 38 years, was his devoted partner, Ray L. Cochran, who provided steadfast care-giving as Dippel’s health declined in the last year.

He was preceded in death by his parents Henry Harvey Dippel and Hildegard Dippel Berry and his step-father Chris Berry.

 Dippel was born in La Grange, Tex., on Sept. 9, 1937. During his early school days, he played saxophone, oboe and piano as well as tennis and basketball. Well-liked by friends, Gene was elected class president in the eighth, ninth and 12th grades.

Dippel’s ability to bring together diverse groups was a talent he honed effectively throughout his adult life, too.

He attended Texas Lutheran College and received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Texas University and Texas A & M, respectively. He returned to La Grange where he taught algebra, plane geometry, and physics. After obtaining a master’s degree in computer science, Dippel attended Case Institute under a NSF stipend for advanced study of computer logic. 

He taught computer science at Texas A & M for two years before accepting a job with Westinghouse Broadcasting Company in New York as manager of corporate systems. There, Dippel co-authored his first college textbook, “Information Systems,” coining a phase that would subsequently be used widely to describe computer-based communications rather than hardware. Published by Scott-Foresman, the book received wide acclaim and favorable reviews.

After three years, Dippel accepted a job at California State University, Fullerton, where he served as the associate vice president of information and telecommunication services for 30 years.

When Dippel retired in 1997, his contributions to the statewide college system earned him a commendation by the chancellor.

Dippel’s ability to bring disparate personalities and points of view into a single focus served him well when elected as presidents of homeowner associations in Los Angeles and Palm Springs as well as in Laguna Beach’s Neighborhood Organizations (LANO).

He amassed a huge number of personal friends, who have fond regards when they think of him.


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