Nick Perugini of Provincetown was killed in a single-car accident outside Naples, Italy on May 12, 2023 while vacationing with his husband, Jim Ryan, who was seriously injured in the crash. Nick was 45.
After working for General Electric in Fairfield, Conn., Brussels, London, and Rome, Nick was named chief information officer at the company’s headquarters in Boston. He and Jim settled in Provincetown in 2020 at the start of the pandemic.
The son of Nick Perugini Sr. and Linda (D’Angelo) Perugini, Nick was born on Dec. 5, 1977 in Waterbury, Conn. His father, who immigrated from Italy at 16, was a cabinetmaker; his mother worked as a registered nurse at Waterbury Hospital.
Nick and his brother, Eric, were raised in an Italian-American household bustling with cousins and friends. When Nick was nine, the family moved to Watertown, Conn., where he attended St. John’s School and graduated from Holy Cross High School in 1995. He went on to earn a B.A. in information systems from Bentley University in 1999.
Nick began his career at General Electric as an intern in 1999, followed by a role in GE’s leadership program. He moved to GE Capital in November 2002, the year he met Jim Ryan, and the following year Nick introduced Jim to Provincetown, where they spent every Labor Day weekend between 2003 and 2010.
Jim spoke of “the joy with which Nick showed me Provincetown for the first time that Labor Day of 2003, taking me to the beaches, to the Mews, and to the Red Inn, which became our special place over the years.”
Nick and Jim were inseparable. According to their friend Jim Canales, their partnership was one of shared adventure, deep connection to each other’s families, lasting friendships, and profound love for each other.
Their first home, a 19th-century millhouse they renovated in Norwalk, Conn., was the site for their wedding in 2014.
Nick’s job took him to Boston in 2016, and they looked for a condo in Provincetown. The next year, they noticed a “for sale” sign at 8 Soper St., which had housed the studio of the Hat Sisters.
“The owner took to us,” said Jim, “and that condo became the center of our world. Nick enjoyed throwing ‘driveway drinks’ parties, where he would build an appetizer platter and I would build a bar out in our driveway and garden.” In March 2020, they moved to Provincetown year-round.
Nick found great joy in cooking and baking, and he and Jim hosted elaborate dinner parties.
It was Nick’s way of opening his heart and home to friends and family, said his husband.
Nick enjoyed solitary pursuits as well. Many will recall him on his new Vespa, heading to the East End Market for breakfast before heading to Truro or through the Seashore.
During his tenure at GE, Nick was a leader, friend, and adviser who was known for mentoring and opening doors for others. He was cochair of the Boston CIO Inner Circle.
In 2020, Nick helped steer more than 200,000 GE employees through the pandemic. He was instrumental in GE’s plan to divide into three companies. As CIO of global functions and finance, Nick helped shape and execute the company’s strategic planning.
Nick also transformed the role of chief information officer at GE, fusing insights from information technology and operating technology in practical ways. In his article “Energy Is Our New Data Network,” published online by CIO Review, Nick showed how insights from IT can help in the corporate space where “energy meets Big Data.”
In pursuing his work vision, Nick stayed grounded in what his colleague Cate Gutowski called “simple truths.” In her own CIO Review article, Gutowski quoted Nick: “We all cross the finish line together, or nobody wins.”
Nick’s work was recognized by colleagues in two nominations for the CIO of the Year Orbie Awards in the super global category for 2020 and 2021; he was chosen as a finalist both years.
“My brother was the rare person who was able to stay true to himself and be successful,” his brother, Eric, told the Waterbury Republican-American. “Professionally, he was just extraordinary. And personally, he was always present.”
His presence was especially important for his niece, Raegen, 5, and nephew, Deacon, 8, with whom he spoke daily. Nick often returned to Watertown to spend time with his parents and with his 94-year-old grandmother, Rosa.
Nick is survived by his husband, Jim Ryan, of Boston and Provincetown; his brother, Eric Perugini, wife April, niece Raegen, and nephew Deacon of Fairfield, Conn.; his parents, Nick and Linda Perugini of Watertown, Conn.; and his grandmother, Rosa Perugini of Watertown.
He is also survived by his father- and mother-in-law, Tom and Elaine Ryan of Long Island, and Jim’s two siblings and their families: Mary (Ryan) and Dave Curtis, daughter Cailin, and sons Lucas and Patrick; and Edward and Maria Ryan and daughters Mary Kate and Alison, all of Long Island, N.Y. Nick leaves many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends in Connecticut, Boston, and Provincetown.
A viewing at Lesko & Polke Funeral Home and a Funeral Mass at St. Pius X Church in Fairfield, Conn. will be held on dates to be announced.
In lieu of flowers, Nick’s family has established the Nick Perugini Memorial Scholarship at his alma mater, Bentley University. Donations can go to bentley.edu/PeruginiMemorialFund.
A memorial service in Provincetown is being planned for the fall.
Editor’s note: In an earlier version of this obituary, published in print on June 22, the list of survivors erroneously referred to Nick Perugini’s husband as “Jim Kelly” instead of Jim Ryan.