Death of Former Missionary to Zimbabwe, Karyl Perry

Death of Former Missionary to Zimbabwe, Karyl Perry

1927 – 2010

Global Ministries is saddened to learn of the death of former missionary Karyl Shaw Perry, who died after a brief illness on Sunday, May 23, 2010, in Portland, Maine, surrounded by her children.

Born October 12, 1927, in Arlington, Massachusetts, Karyl grew up in West Springfield and graduated from Classical High School.  She attended the American International College where she met and married Reverend Herbert B. Perry, Jr.

A world traveler and minister’s wife, Karyl lived in Cambridge and Oakham, Massachusetts; Dorset, Vermont; Riverhead and Stony Point, New York.  She then worked for eight years in Zimbabwe as a missionary for the United Church Board for World Ministries (UCBWM).  On her return to the U. S., Karyl settled in Portland, Maine, where she lived for 39 years.

Mrs. Perry graduated from University of Southern Maine in 1975 with a degree in social work, and worked as a Unit Secretary and Office Manager at the Osteopathic Hospital for many years.  As a missionary in Africa, she lived and worked on the Chikore and Mt. Selinda Mission Stations, as well as in the capital city of Harare.  She was a member of the Chipinge Garden Club, led the local Ruwadzano Women’s Group, worked for Amnesty International and other international organizations, homeschooled mission children, and managed a large household with no electricity, four young children, a wood cooking stove, and a kerosene refrigerator.

Her hobbies and interests were many including genealogy research, sewing, knitting, and needlepoint, as well as extensive volunteering including Portland Public Library, Portland Harbor Museum, Maine Historical Society, Portland Children’s Museum, Senior College, and Southern Maine Agency on Aging.  She was also an avid reader, and was considered by all to be “a classy lady.”  Karyl was always up for an adventure; she loved sailing, living in Portland, and being on the water.  Mostly though, Karyl loved to meet new people, and she instantly made friends with everyone in the most interesting and unlikely places.

Karyl is survived by her four children, Pamela Jennette (Michael), Deborah Perry (Greg Maravolo), Suzanne Shelley (Randy), and Jonathan Perry (Jamie Merrill); a brother, David Shaw (Virginia); four grandchildren, Timothy Flanders, Todd Fleischman (Sara Blanchette), Daniel Flanders (Katrina), and Lora Day Fleischman (Tim Gill); four great-grandchildren, Thomas, Tia, and Noah Fleischman, and Hannah Flanders; and many extended family relatives, friends, and colleagues.

Memorial services were held on Friday, May 28, 2010.

Condolences may be sent to Ms. Pamela Jennette, 803 Summer Street, Franklin, MA 02038-2313.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to A Light for Zimbabwe and Amnesty International