Ashton George (“Perry”) Peyrefitte, Jr., Ph.D., died on Thursday, September 5, 2019, at East Jefferson General Hospital from complications of diabetes. He was 76. Born in New Orleans on October 5, 1942, Dr. Peyrefitte graduated from De La Salle High School. Soon after, as a member of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, he discovered his love of teaching when he served as an instructor at Saint Aloysius High School in New Orleans in the 1964–65 school year. After leaving the order, he attended Florida State University, earning his Bachelor of Science in 1967 and Master of Science in meteorology in 1969. He earned his Doctorate in Meteorology from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City in 1986; his dissertation, The Plateau Anticyclone of the Western United States, was published that same year. His university teaching career spanned over four decades, beginning at the State University College of New York at Oneonta from 1972 through 1980. He began his 14-year tenure at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire as an Assistant Professor, was promoted to Associate Professor, and earned the distinction of Associate Professor Emeritus in 1999. From 2000 until his retirement in 2016, Dr. Peyrefitte taught at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant. Throughout his career, he engaged in research and made several regional and national presentations, received numerous teaching awards, and maintained membership in professional societies, including the National Weather Association and the American Meteorological Society. Even after his return to New Orleans, Dr. Peyrefitte continued to educate and share his knowledge of meteorology, this time with his fellow retirees, as an instructor for the New Orleans People Program.
Dr. Peyrefitte will always be remembered for his love of meteorology, his love of teaching, and his boundless generosity. He had an amazing gift for explaining complex meteorological concepts to beginners as well as to advanced students. Dr. Peyrefitte’s students were his “kids,” and he spoiled them with food, candy, king cakes, and even dinner at New Orleans’ finest restaurants when they were in town visiting or at a conference. Many of his students have gone on to prominent careers in meteorology, including several familiar faces in the National Broadcast Media. Whenever weather threatened, he would extend his expertise to friends and family to keep them safe and informed—his family especially welcomed the “hurricane updates” that provided his careful analysis of tropical activity. Dr. Peyrefitte is survived by his sisters, Bonnie Peyrefitte Hebeisen and Lynn Peyrefitte Rodriguez; his half-sister, Sally Peyrefitte Firestone, and brother-in-law, John Firestone, Jr., M.D.; his stepbrother, Antonio Padial; his nieces, Shelley Hebeisen Reinecke and Cheri Ann Hebeisen, as well as his grandnieces, many cousins, and extended family. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ashton G. Peyrefitte, Sr., and Melba Parpal Peyrefitte; his stepmother, Sylvia Guerchoux Peyrefitte; his brothers, Gregory A. Peyrefitte and Keith J. Peyrefitte; and his stepsister, Anita Padial.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend funeral services on Monday, September 9, 2019, at JACOB SCHOEN & SON FUNERAL HOME, 3827 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70119. Visitation will begin at 11:30 AM, followed by a service at 1:30 PM.