Hemet Harmonizer dies in bizarre collision

Joe Perry identified as second driver in fatal Winchester crash

Courtesy of the Perry family and Jim Robinson
Joe Perry, second from right, a longtime barbershop quartet singer, here entertains a group of awestruck young people in an early photo from his family’s collection.

■ Chronicle News Staff

The Hemet man who was one of two people killed July 24 in a head-on collision on Domenigoni Parkway has been identified as Joseph Perry, 82.
Perry reportedly was returning to Hemet after leaving his daughter’s home in Temecula shortly before 9 p.m. when his eastbound 2000 Saturn Ion suddenly veered across the center dirt divider and stuck a westbound Toyota Corolla driven by Lorraine Johansen, 81, of Menifee. The crash happened about a half mile east of Patterson Avenue in Winchester, according to the CHP.
Perry died at the scene within minutes of the crash, but Johansen survived long enough to be rushed to Menifee Valley Medical Center where she later succumbed to her injuries. There were no passengers in either vehicle. The CHP has not released the cause of the bizarre crash, which is still under investigation.
Perry, who had a strong, sonorous singing voice, was a member of the Hemet Harmonizers and had sung with barbershop quartets and other singing groups his whole life. He recently was featured in an article on the Harmonizers that appeared in the Aug. 9 issue of The Valley Chronicle titled, “Hemet Harmonizers serenade seniors at Heritage Ranch.” The group had just completed a performance entertaining residents at Heritage Ranch in San Jacinto as part of their special “guest night” intended to attract new members.
The Hemet Harmonizers is a chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society of Hemet, formerly known as the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America (SPEBSQSA).
A memorial was held for Perry in Temecula at the home of one of his two daughters. It was attended by his other daughter from out of state, their families, and Perry’s singing buddies.

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