National Sojourners®

"When we assumed the soldier, we did not lay aside the citizen."

Lt. Col. USAF (retired) Keye E. Perry

Aug 23, 2023

Lt Col Keye E. Perry, USAF (retired) – born April 4, 1947. Father, son, husband, grandfather, uncle, pilot, mason, coach, athlete, scout, consummate life-long learner, and gifted orator – laid down his working tools and joined the Great Architect of the Universe alongside his father, Wes, and son, Rob, on August 23, 2023 after a brief battle with a viral infection he obtained while traveling abroad.

Keye was born in Denver, Colorado to Wesley and Dorothy Perry on April 4, 1947. Keye was known for his grand adventures and mischief around town with his younger sister, Pat, and their family friend Dinah Plum. His father’s work moved the family from Colorado to Idaho to Oregon and onto California where Keye graduated from La Mirada High School in 1965. He attended college at the University of Southern California where he played the trumpet for the USC band and joined the ROTC. He graduated from USC with honors and was commissioned into the United States Air Force in 1969.

After attending flight school, Keye served three tours in Southeast Asia flying O-2s and B-52s, followed by Farsi language training and a brief assignment to Iran flying C-12s for the embassy. His next mission led him to serve as an instructor pilot and school squadron commander at Sheppard AFB in Wichita Falls, Texas. It was here that he met and married his bride, Becky. He then took the family to Hawaii for a Pacific Air Force role followed by a tour at the Pentagon in Northern Virginia. His last assignment was at Griffis AFB in Rome, New York before retiring and relocating his family to Austin, Texas. He always joked that while he wasn’t a native Texan, he got here as fast as he could.

The next chapter began with obtaining two masters from the University of Texas, starting his second career as a CPA and in his free time, starting his Masonic journey with Parsons Lodge #222 in 1995. He served in many roles within Parsons Lodge, including the Junior Warden (’97-‘98), Senior Warden (‘98-‘99) and Worshipful Master (‘99-‘00) and District Deputy Grand Master (‘15-‘16).

Keye received the 14th – 32nd Degrees in the Austin Scottish Rite in 1996. He received the 32nd Degree Knight Commander Court of Honor in 2007 and was honored by receiving the 33rd Degree Inspector General Honorary in 2019. He served the Austin Scottish Rite as the Head of all Four Bodies (‘10-‘17). He received the Double Eagle Award (2014), was an Emeritus Member of the Knights of St. Andrew Order of the Thistle and served as the Austin Valley Ambassador. He completed the Master Craftsman Course in 2014.

In 1998, Keye joined the local chapter of National Sojourners, Anson Jones #507. Passionate about masonry history and the military community, he dedicated the next 20 years to serving in a variety of roles within National Sojourners including Chapter President (‘02-‘03), Camp Commander (‘03-‘04), National President (‘13-‘14), Trustee (‘15-‘23) and Chairman of the Trustees (‘22-‘23). Additionally, he was the President of Collingwood Library & Museum Association. He served as Deputy Area Representative for the South-Central Area (‘18-‘23) and was a Director of the Royal Order of Barrow Wheelers. He received the Houghton Memorial Award, the Second Highest Award in National Sojourners, in 2018 and the Donor Medal in 2019.

In 2015, Keye received the Conferral of the Orders of the Austin Conclave of the Red Cross of Constantine, serving in several positions from 2015-2022. The following year, he was knighted into the Jewell P. Lightfoot Council of Knight Masons #109. He served the Council as Excellent Chief (‘19-‘20) and as Secretary/Treasurer (‘22-‘23).

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Rebecca Lee (Thompson) Perry; son LTC Keye Perry, Jr (US Army retired) and his wife, Connie and grandsons, Connor, Jake and Zach; son Bryan Perry and wife, Kristin and grandchildren, Hayden and Mackenzie; daughter Sarah Elizabeth Perry; and son Trevor Taubert and granddaughters, Libby and Margaret Ann. He is also survived by his mother, Dorothy Ann Perry and sister, Patricia Young and husband, Robert and nieces, Karissa, Sarah and Rachel. He will be dearly missed by many and will always be loved…


  • Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, Methodist University Sigma Theta Chapter (Member #142).
  • National Sojourner Fort Hood Chapter #208, John Bell Hood Camp Heroes of ’76
  • 14th & 32nd Scottish Rite Valley of Waco, Orient of Texas
  • Florence Royal Arch Chapter No. 275, Florence Council No. 208, Llano Commandry No. 54, Knight Templar, York Rite of Freemansonry.

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