Peria, William T. age 88, of Hopkins, MN, died February 1st, 2017. Preceded in death by the love of his life Joan Theresa Peria (née Kelly), companion Delores Bunker, and brother Ray. Survived by sisters Donna and Dorothy Ann, children Joy (Don), Cathy (Bill), Joe (Kari), and Billy (Anne), grandchildren Kelly (Nate), John (Amanda), Michael (Haleigh), and Billy, and great-grandchildren Charlie and Lila, the newest lights of his life. Born in Kirkland Lake, ON, he moved by float plane to frontier mining country, where he grew up alongside the town of Bourlamaque, PQ. He loved his summers on the family farms near New Liskeard, ON, where he toiled beside his uncles and brother, and regularly drove a team of horses. Working in the assay office of the Lamaque mine, he led the verification of rich new veins of gold. His formal education began in a one-room multi-age school, then on to boarding school at Scollard Hall in North Bay, ON, and college at Queens University, ultimately earning his PhD in Physics at UBC in Vancouver. As a U of M professor, he led cutting-edge research in surface physics for nearly half a century, enabling the founding, by his PhD students, of Physical Electronics Inc., provider of crucial surface analytical equipment to the semiconductor industry. Widely respected and feared by undergrads, he convinced legions of them either to learn or to leave electrical engineering. He coached Edina youth hockey for decades. Ever the teacher, he volunteered in retirement to help elementary students learn to read, in the Minneapolis Public Schools. He dearly enjoyed many canoe trips and hikes in the great north woods, having never truly left his roots behind in his heart. We are forever grateful to the 8th floor nurses at Fairview-Southdale Hospital, and to everyone at N. C. Little Hospice, for their colossally kind devotion to our father. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to The Alzheimer's Association (, or to The University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering Alumni Scholarship Fund ( Visitation at 10 AM, Tuesday, February 7th at Saint Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church, 6 Interlachen Road, Hopkins. A memorial service will start at 11 AM. Private burial to follow.

Published on February 5, 2017

Guest Book