Our Staff

Our staff of licensed funeral directors, office and maintenance personnel, drivers and many other part- time personnel is here to make your visit to our funeral home warm and inviting. We are trained to handle all ethnic and religious services and can assist you with any special request you might have to make your service as meaningful as possible. From the Perry family to our part-time personnel, our sole purpose is to assist you during a difficult time. Thank you for placing your trust with Perry Funeral Home. Read more about our team members by clicking on their picture.

In Memory of Virginia Arnold Perry 1937 - 2018
Samuel C. Arnold President & Manager
Elizabeth Perry-Tisdale Vice President
Curtis Martin Funeral Director and Embalmer

In Memory of Virginia Arnold Perry

1937 - 2018

Virginia Arnold Perry was born in Bassett, Virginia, on January 22, 1937 to Robert and Geneva Arnold.

Working hard became a way of life for Virginia at an early age. Her mother died at age 37 when Virginia was only 17, leaving a young family of nine children. Being the oldest of the family, she quickly accepted the responsibility of helping her father raise her brothers and sisters.

Virginia graduated from the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore with a degree in Business Education.   While a student, Virginia met and married Orlando K. Perry, Sr. who had been in business for one year. After graduation, Virginia taught in the Newark and Roselle, New Jersey school system for 10 years. During these years, she also worked closely with her husband, applying her business training to a new and growing business. Virginia gave birth to her three children, Nancy, Orlando, Jr. and Tracey, while working and attending school. She always managed to find time to tend to them lovingly and attentively.

In 1970, Virginia gave up teaching and came to work full time with her husband. Orlando enjoyed having his wife by his side and he can be credited with teaching her every aspect of the business. He often remarked about her business skills and kindly manner with the clients.

In 1975, Virginia enrolled in American Academy - McAllister Institute of Funeral Service in New York City. She graduated and became a licensed funeral director in 1977.

Orlando Perry's untimely death in 1990 brought a great deal of sorrow to her and her family, but again, she had to rise to the occasion and assume the role of President of the firm. Tragedy struck again in 2015 with the death of her son, Orlando Jr. “Kenny”; and once more in 2016 with the loss of her daughter, Nancy.  Though stricken with grief Mrs. Perry has continued to persevere and serve her community.

Virginia was an owner of two successful boutiques, Ginny Re's, a boutique for larger sizes, in Montclair, NJ, and Treasures Unlimited, an accessory boutique in South Orange, NJ. After Orlando's death, the responsibilities of the funeral home required Virginia to devote 100% of her time to the business. And after five years, a decision to close the boutiques was made.

Virginia is a loyal and active member of Bethany Baptist Church, in Newark. She knows that God is the source of her strength. She has served on the Black College and the Building Fund Committees. She also chaired Mothers' Day Weekend and Homecoming "2000". In addition, she also supported and helped raise funds for the Christian Academy, a new addition to the church. Virginia also holds memberships in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Associate membership in Jack and Jill of America, Essex and Union County Funeral Directors' Association, Garden State Funeral Directors' Association, National Funeral Directors' and Morticians' Association, Women's Auxiliary, and the National Funeral Directors' Association.

Virginia has received numerous community service and humanitarian awards. But anyone who knows Virginia Perry can attest to her unpretentiousness. She prefers to stay quietly in the background.

Virginia has given scholarships to many local youngsters. Many of them still call or visit years after graduation. She has employed several former students. One has been employed at the Perry Funeral Home for over thirty-five years; and another for over 18 years.

Virginia loves to travel. She has traveled to four of the seven continents as well as much of the United States, including Hawaii. In traveling, she always inquires of the funeral practices of that country. She also loves to cook soul food and host family and friends at many dinners and brunches at her home. Virginia also collects Black art and has a passion for decorating.

Virginia's children have given her seven grandchildren; namely, George, Angela, Christopher, Brianna, Alicia, Tré and Kylin.

Despite her many obligations, Virginia continues to finds time for her family - her greatest source of joy!!!

Samuel C. Arnold

President & Manager

Samuel C. Arnold was born and raised in Bassett, Virginia, where he attended the Mary Hunter Elementary School and the George Washington Carver High School. He graduated Cum Laude from Virginia State University with a degree in Political Science.

He recalls that college was not easy at first, but with two older brothers attending college at the same time, they helped him "buckle down" to the rigors of college life". He had the pleasure of being taught Constitutional Civil Liberties, by the former Governor Lawrence Douglas Wilder in 1972-1973. He was a distinguished military graduate as well a distinguished military student, being sworn in as a Second Lieutenant on May 5, 1973.

During his college years, Sam helped organize political events and he wrote grant applications for the funding of various programs. He traveled to Chicago, Illinois; Atlanta, Georgia; Gary, Indiana and other cities, to promote research statistics on the "Genocide of Urban Blacks", under the direction of Dr. Calvin Miller, the Political Science Department Chairman.

Sam was a member of the Virginia State University ROTC Program for four years and served faithfully in the U.S. Military. Thereafter, he was stationed in Newark, NJ at the 2-113(MD Inf BN) Infantry Battalion from 1976 through 1988. During those years, he was a Communications Expert Officer (C.E.O.), Co-Commander, and Logistics S-4 Officer. He was promoted to major in 1988 and transferred to the 50th Armor Division Headquarters in Somerset, NJ, where he served as the Headquarter Commandant. Sam completed the Armor Officer Basic Course (AOBC), in Fort Knox, Kentucky on August 7, 1975, in the top ten percent of his class. He joined 2nd-113th (Mech) Inf. BN. In July 1976, a young second Lieutenant he served as a Communicator Expert Officer (CEO), Mortar Platoon Leader, Company Commander and S-4 (Staff Logistics Officer). Sam retired from Army National Guard in July 1996.

In September 1974, Mr. Arnold graduated from the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service and passed both the National and State Board Exams. He has received appreciation awards from the Newark Day Care Council where he has been a board member for more than 26 years and the International Youth Organization. Sam has also been involved for more than 22 years with the Day Nursery of Montclair and has been recognized by the National Guard for Military Service and staff leadership. He has served on numerous boards, which include the Mary E. Wheeler Cultural Center, Newark, NJ, Day Nursery of Montclair, and he has been instrumental as an advisor for the International Youth Organization, Newark, New Jersey.


His lifelong dream was to become involved in politics, but as time marched on; his passion for funeral service blossomed.

Sam has been a driving force at the Perry Funeral Home, Inc. since December 1970 and is

always glad to be of service to help lift the spirits of those who need it most.

Mr. Arnold is married to the former Ms. Retha Rose, formerly of Montclair, NJ. He and his wife currently reside in Newark, New Jersey.


Mr. Arnold was President of the Garden State Funeral Directors Association from 2011-2017, and also served as its Vice President from 2001-2011.


He was also Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey State Funeral Directors Association, serving 5 years from 2015-2020, and a dedicated member from 2005-2020.

Mr. Arnold is currently Treasurer of the United Community Corporation located at 31 Fulton Street Newark, NJ, where he also has served on the Board of Directors since 2012.


Mr. Arnold was elected and served as the Vice President of Essex, Union & West Hudson Funeral Directors Association from 2017-2019.

            -He is currently serving as President Elect as of 2019-2021

            -He will then be President from 2021-2023


Elizabeth Perry-Tisdale

Vice President

The youngest daughter of the late Orlando K. and Virginia A. Perry. She attended Mount Saint Mary’s Academy before continuing her studies at Virginia Union and American Academy McAllister Institute of funeral service. Also licensed in minister, Rev. Perry-Tisdale served as youth minister at Franklin St. John’s UM Church in Newark, NJ under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Lloyd Terrell. Rev. Perry-Tisdale is the proud mother of 6 and wife of Dorian Tisdale.

Curtis Martin

Funeral Director and Embalmer

Curtis has been a licensed funeral director for over 25 years. After obtaining a degree in mortuary science from Mercer County College in 1987, he went on to obtain dual licenses in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. A resident of PA, Mr. Martin has been a proud member of the Perry Funeral Home staff since 2011.