New London, NH
Mary S (Ursillo) Perry , 88 , mother of guitarist Joe Perry and renowned teacher and healer, Anne Perry, died Thursday morning October 3 2013 at Woodcrest Village, attended by her family.
Mary was born in Lawrence, Ma on Sept 30 1925 , the daughter of Louis and Anna (Feole) Ursillo. She was married to Anthony D Perry of Lowell, Ma in 1948.
She graduated from Sargent College at BU and later received her masters in Physical Education at Springfield College. Her first teaching job was in the Manchester NH school system after which she moved to Hopedale Ma, to take on the position of head of the physical education department. There, as part of the teaching staff she was responsible for shaping the healthy lives of hundreds of students thru her more than 25 years of teaching everything from square dancing to tossing the cage ball. Mrs. Perry was responsible for curriculum classes as well as coaching girls varsity and Jr varsity sports teams and taught not only skill on the field but, respect and the importance of teamwork. When her husband Tony passed in the mid 70's , she took early retirement to travel and start life anew spending some time at the family's house on Lake Sunapee before heading west .Mary decided to sell the property on Birch Point (Lake Sunapee) where as a family they had enjoyed cozy winter nights after skiing the mountain and long summer evenings after a day on the lake. On her travels and throughout her life, Mary met people easily and stayed in contact with many of them as her life progressed. She eventually found Sedona AZ and enticed by the beauty of nature and a stellar golf course decided to relocate there.
She became involved with the growing aerobics craze in the 80's and started a program there in association with The Fitness Firm- a national movement franchise. Her class grew in popularity and had a devoted core of participants who for years after her leaving still got together to socialize, exercise and support one another thru life’s challenges. She spent many years in Sedona, walking among the Red Rocks with her devoted 4-legged companion Lady, an incredibly friendly and energetic black lab. In 1995, Mary decided she wanted to move back to New England to be closer to her family and her roots. She found a spot in New London on Cricenti Lane. Shortly after settling in, she began a similar exercise program at Mountainside Racquet club. She was in her 70’s by this time and being of the mind that age is just a number, introduced a new kind of aerobics program to the community and within a short time had created the space for a new network of friends many who to this day still jump around several mornings a week. Her commitment was to make exercise fun and enjoyable by making sure everyone was included and holding the space for living “outside the box”. In her son’s words, “in many ways she was ahead of her time as far as her way of thinking and living, whether it be exploring books on quantum physics or women’s rights.”
When her beloved Lady ran her last run, Billie gifted Winston, her adorable white fluffball to Mary so she wouldn’t have to raise a new puppy for a constant companion.
She will be remembered for lots of reasons but those who knew her will remember the thrill and pride she had being able to see her son’s concerts from the side stage or soundboard, a devoted fan for 40 + years! Mary was extremely proud as well of her daughter’s skill in the healing arts .She was very proud of the achievements of her four grandsons and to be sure, of how they have grown to be sensitive men. Mary loved animals, and seeing new places, doing some travel with Elderhostel. She loved to read, and rarely had an unkind word for anyone, looking to see the best in everyone. She loved a good card game especially if there was some wager involved and had a lot of fun during football season! She would be the first one to suggest a party or get together and was mentor and friend to so many throughout her life.
It was because of who she was and how she led her life that at her time of passing so many friends and caregivers surrounded her.
She leaves behind her son, Joe Perry and his wife, Billie Paulette Perry of Duxbury, MA; her daughter, Anne Perry of New London, NH; four grandsons, Aaron Hirsch of Duxbury, MA, Adrian Perry and his wife Anne of Brooklyn, NY, Anthony Perry Jr and Roman Perry of Duxbury, MA Also two great grandchildren, Austin Hirsch and Genevieve Perry.
She requested a celebration of life, which will be announced at a later date.