Obituary for Alice Christina Perry
ALICE C. PERRY
After a two-year battle with leukemia, Alice Christiana Perry died
peacefully on April 7, 2018 in her beloved Chicago, IL. She was 67.
Alice”s father Charles Perry and her brother, Charles “Chuck” Perry preceded
Alice in death. So did her first poodle, Gracie. Her mother, Ingrid Perry, her sister, Elizabeth (Betsy) Perry, her nephew, Max Perry Mueller, and her beloved standard poodle, Theo, survive Alice. In Chicago, Alice leaves behind the large, eclectic family that she created: Coketha Hendricks and her son Charles “Cory,” her physical therapy colleagues, her fellow parishioners at Fourth Presbyterian, and her fellow dog lovers in Winnemac Park.
Alice was born in Upstate New York and went to college in Buffalo. She moved to Chicago in the late 1970s to attend physical therapy school at Northwestern. She made Chicago her home for the next four decades. In the 1980s, summers were spent introducing her nephew to the joys and heartbreaks of being a Cubs fan. Most holidays and vacations were spent with her parents, with whom she remained deeply close, especially her mother, Ingrid. Her favorite sister, Betsy, retired just in time to be with Alice at her passing. Also present were Sally Edelsberg and Judy Watt to whom Betsy will be eternally grateful.
Alice worked as a physical therapist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, RIC
( now Ability Lab Home/ Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. ) and Swedish Covenanat
Hospital. Her passion was helping patients suffering from spinal cord injuries. She was a meticulous professional and mentor to PT students . She retired from Swedish Covenant in 2016.
Alice was a stalwart member of the Winnemac Park dog community. Almost daily with her beloved poodles Gracie and then Theo, Alice gathered with other dog lovers to chat about baseball, gardening, politics, and, of course, canine bowel movements. The day after her death, more than one of her friends visited their usual bench in the park, to remember Alice—to laugh, to cry, and to swap stories. Friends remember her as one of those rare people who had not an unkind word about anyone.
Alice was deeply committed to social justice. This commitment to justice arose out of her deep Christian faith. She was a longtime member of Fourth Presbyterian Church. She tutored in The Chicago Lights program. Most recently she has been a deacon for her church. The duty of deacons is “to minister to those who are in need,” reads the Presbyterian Book of Order. “
To the sick, to the friendless and to any who may be in distress within and beyond the community of faith.” Alice performed these duties seriously and with joy until the end. And when her illness prevented her from physically going out into the world, she sent prayers for those in need from her home.
Cancer has been a member of Alice’s family for generations. Cancer is not fair. Alice knew that. Alice didn’t blame God for her suffering—or for the suffering of others. Or, at least she tried not to. Taped to her bedside table was a handwritten prayer to remind herself upon sleep and upon waking—and the many times in between—of this truth. It reads:
“Gracious God, so direct our minds to the mercy and grace you spread about in our lives, that we meet its occasion in others’ lives with gratitude and joy and never with contempt. In all we do, make grace, not fairness, the object of our striving and of our praise, Amen.”
All are welcome to attend and celebrate Alice’s ’s life. A Memorial Service is scheduled for Saturday, May 12, 2018, 10 a.m., at FOURTH PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, North Michigan Avenue at Delaware Place, Chicago. Rev. Judith Watt, officiating. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 East Chestnut Street, Chicago, IL 60611-2014.
Please visit ALICE PERRY BOOK OF MEMORIES. To express your thoughts or memories in the online guest book, visit www.chapelc.com or www.facebook.com/centralchapel. Arrangements by CENTRAL CHAPEL, Lane-Moynihan Directors, Downtown Chicago. Info., 773-581-9000 or 312-944-6060