Perleston L. Pert, 81: newsman, passionate historian

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PORTLAND — Perleston L. “Bub” Pert, 81, died on Aug. 27 at the Maine Veterans Home in Scarborough. He was born in Bath on Jan. 25, 1931, the son of Perleston L. Pert Sr., and Katherine White Pert. 

As a boy, Pert enjoyed comic books and building and racing go-karts with friends. He attended Bath schools, graduating from Morse High School, class of 1948.  He  received a bachelor’s in journalism in 1953 from the University of Maine.

Commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Army Infantry upon graduation from the University of Maine, Pert served on active duty at Fort Benning, Ga., and Fort Dix, N.J., between 1954 and 1956, attaining the rank of 1st Lt.

In 1958, he married Jacqueline E. Snipe, of Topsham.

From 1953 to 1967- excluding time served in military- Pert pursued a career in journalism as a news editor at WGAN radio and television in Portland,  editor of the Boothbay Register in Boothbay Harbor, and feature writer and photographer for the Maine Sunday Telegram based in Waterville and covering central Maine.

While with the Gannett newspapers, he was awarded a Gold Press Card Award for producing a photo page on Revere bells in Maine, finding a total of 23, contrary to published reports that only a dozen or so existed in the state. He later authored an expanded article on Maine’s Revere bells published in the January 1971 issue of Down East Magazine under the pseudonym J. J. Lincoln.

In 1967, he was the first person to be appointed public information officer for the Maine State Police. He compiled statutory and organizational histories of the Maine State Police, detailing the development of barracks buildings, a statewide police radio network and a training academy. All of these compilations are now housed in the Maine State Library.

From 1974 to 1990, he served as director of public information for the Maine Department of Education under six commissioners. Pert produced the education newsletter Maine Insight.

He retired in August 1994 after four years as manager and treasurer of the Sagadahock Real Estate Association in Bath.

He was intensely interested in Maine history, particularly relating to Bath and the Kennebec River region. In 1995, Pert authored “A Summary History of Bath, Maine 1850 to 1990,” which was first printed by the city’s comprehensive plan core committee. He was a charter member of the Bath Historical Society, organized in 1989, and served as a trustee and as secretary. On a volunteer basis during the Society’s first five years, he designed and produced nine newsletters annually. 

His is survived by his wife, Jacqueline, of Westbrook; two daughters, Judith, of Roslindale, Mass., and Jennifer Russo, of Portland; two sons Jeffrey, of Brunswick and Jonathan, of Westbrook; two sisters Jacqueline M. Fossett, of Cumberland Center and Catherine E. Biette, of Brunswick; and a brother, Edwin H. Pert, of Georgetown.

A graveside service was held Aug. 30 at Oak Grove Cemetery in Bath.  

For those who wish, donations may be made in Pert’s memory to the The Bath Historical Society, 33 Summer Street, Bath, Maine 04530 or The Maine Chapter, Alzheimer’s Association, 383 U. S. Route One, Suite 2 C, Scarborough, Maine 04074.

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