J. Cortland G. Peret, Falls Church Resident for 53 Years, Dies at 96

John Cortland Gifford Peret. (Photo: Courtesy of Anne Peret)
John Cortland Gifford Peret. (Photo: Courtesy of Anne Peret)

John Cortland Gifford Peret, born on November 24, 1919 in Oregon, Miss. to Rua (Gifford) and John Peret, died on March 29. He grew up in a small town in a farming community where values of family, education, duty and service were paramount.

Cortland entered the University of Missouri where he met and later married Barbara Ann Albrecht. During World War II Lt. J.G. Peret served as Naval Aviator and flight instructor flying SNVs, SNJs and seaplanes catapulted off ships.

After the war he earned a PhD in economics from Harvard University and had a career at the Federal Reserve Board. The family lived in Falls Church City for 53 years and raised their son and daughter. They attended Madison Elementary, Thomas Jefferson Seventh Grade and George Mason Junior-Senior High Schools.

Cortland was active as deacon and elder at Falls Church Presbyterian Church and cultivated gardens of roses, chrysanthemums and vegetables in his spare time. He retired from the federal government as Deputy Associate Director in the Division of Research and Statistics.

After leaving the Board, Cortland prepared tax returns for family, friends, neighbors and through H&R Block’s Executive Tax Service. He was gratified to use his expertise to help others.

During retirement he and Barbara traveled extensively through Europe. Cortland also pursued an interest in genealogy, creating a 12-foot long family tree tracing roots to the 11th century.

Throughout his life his greatest pleasure was family. He celebrated times together with his children and nearly-biennial reunions with his brother, three sisters and all the cousins.

He is survived by his wife of 71 and a half years, Barbara of Falls Church, his son Cort of Annandale and daughter Anne of Arlington, as well as sister Helen McGuire of Denver, brother Warren of Bremerton, WA and numerous nieces and nephews; he was predeceased by two sisters, Ruhamah (McKinsey) of Columbia and Rosemary (Johnston) of Tryon, NC.

A Celebration of Life memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 30 at Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads in Falls Church. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Falls Church Presbyterian Church (225 E Broad St., Falls Church, VA 22046) or the Alzheimer’s Association (P.O. Box 96011, Washington, D.C. 20090).