After a courageous battle with cancer, James A. Peruto, Esq., lovingly known as Jimmy, passed away at the age of 68 on Wednesday, September 29, 2021, at his residence in Lower Gwynedd, PA., surrounded by his family.
Born in Philadelphia, PA, he was the best friend and beloved husband of Michele T. Peruto (nee Meckling), son of Josephine R. Peruto (nee Petrini) and the late A. Charles Peruto, Sr., Esq., and brother of the late Joseph R. Peruto. James is survived by his daughters Christina Marie Peruto Post, M.D. (Kevin), Lisa Peruto Broad, Esq. (Matt), DeAnna Meckling Peruto, and Jackie Jo Peruto, along with his sister Susan G. DeMarco (Perry), brothers A. Charles Peruto, Jr., Esq. (Lindsey) and John M. Peruto, Esq. (Lori). He is also survived by his three grandchildren, Sophia, Owen, and Oliver, and by many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Jimmy graduated from LaSalle College High School, St. Joseph’s University, and Temple University’s James E. Beasley School of Law. He practiced law in Philadelphia, before pursuing his passion in the automobile industry.
He was the owner and operator of Keenan Motors Mercedes-Benz, Keenan Honda, and Keenan Collision Center, located in Doylestown, PA. Throughout his career, he served as a member of various automotive industry boards, nationally and locally. Jimmy served several terms on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Pennsylvania Automotive Association (PAA). He was Chairman of PAA in 2015. As the former President of the Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia (ADAGP), Jimmy was the driving force behind the ADAGP becoming the producer of the annual Philadelphia International Auto Show. Most recently, he served on the Mercedes-Benz Dealer Board and the American International Automobile Dealers Association Board of Directors. Jimmy received countless awards and accolades for the impact his involvement made. However, among his greatest honors was Time Magazine’s “Quality Dealer Award” in 1999, and his contributions as Chairman of the “Philadelphia Auto Show” were immeasurable.
Jimmy was an entrepreneur with myriad and varied interests. He was a professional race car driver, and a Guinness Book World Record holder for the fastest public highway land speed set at the Silver State Classic Challenge in Nevada. On May 12, 2012, he shattered the then-existing 12-year record of 207 mph, with a new average speed of 217.56 mph and a top speed of 253 mph. Jimmy was an avid collector of cars, motorcycles, and antiques. He was a selfless philanthropist, and understood the inherent importance of putting others first. Jimmy was generous with his time, advice, and anything else he could give. He would give you the shirt off of his back, no questions asked. He loved his family and friends fiercely, and they loved him equally in return.
Jimmy was a candid, honest, and forthright man with impeccable taste. Jimmy enjoyed spending summers down the shore, and cherished sunset boat rides with his family. He had an innate ability to make you feel as though you were the only and most important person in the room. His smile made you know that you mattered. Jimmy did what he loved, and loved what he did. If he could tell you this himself, he would say, “I’ve lived a life that’s full…and did it my way!”
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Jimmy’s memory may be made in support of Germantown Academy: https://www.germantownacademy.net/support-ga
A Celebration of Life will be scheduled in the near future.