Carmen Louise Perry

Carmen Louise Perry entered this life in Lamar Missouri, on April 24, 1925, the daughter of Kenneth and Helen Howe. Following her faith she entered into the loving arms of God on May 17, 2011.

During her 86 years of earthly existence she knew both great joys and deep sorrows and is remembered by all who had the fortune to know her as a kind and gentle soul. She walked in a beauty that shone from within to brighten the world without.

Raised in the mining district of Picher, Oklahoma, she became a telephone switchboard operator for Southwestern Bell at the age of 18. She met and was married to Oren Perry in 1943 and began a shared life with him that lasted for 59 years until his passing in 2003. In the journey of her life she would be a homemaker and mother as well as business partner with her husband. They were involved in several enterprises ranging from restaurants in Picher, Oklahoma and Seneca, Missouri to a sewing machine store in Miami, Oklahoma as well as an auction business.

She also served as a women’s church leader during the years when Oren was a pastor of an Assembly of God church in Chetopa, Kansas.

Louise found bedrock of Christian belief that she followed all her days and that led her to volunteer service with the United Methodist Church charities. She also was a familiar figure to the sick and needy as a floor volunteer at Integris Regency Hospital in Miami.

Inspired by her maternal grandmother, Anna Howe, Louise became a highly skilled textile artist in needle point and quilting work. She always spoke glowingly of her grandmother’s achievements and strived to reach a superior level of workmanship in this field, something she achieved with glorious results. Her quilts and needlework pieces today are prized possessions of several of her friends and members of her family.

She had a deep and lifelong interest in the welfare of children and a strong sense of compassion for all living things. She contributed to upbringing of several children who were inspired by her to reach for excellence in their lives. She always had a pet animal or two to spoil as well, ranging from cats and dogs to a calf, dozens of horses and even a pet chicken named ‘Chickie’ that would follow her everywhere it could and often perched on her lap as she sat to sew or read. She was an avid reader and there are adults today who can still recall her reading Mark Twain aloud to them as children,

Carmen Louise Perry (Howe) was preceded in death by her mother and father; two sisters, Dorla and Phyliss; her grandmother, Anna; uncle Earl; and her beloved husband, Oren.

She is survived by one son, John Sparrow, Eatonville WA; a daughter, Syrenia Dian France, Longmont CO; a sister, Sharon Barker-Pugh, Fullerton CA; two grandsons, Martel Tignor, Bern SWZ and Matthew Tignor, Springfield MO; and three great-grandsons.

The family would like to give its heartfelt appreciation to Louise’s friends and extended family, particularly to the staff and residents of the Village Apartment complex, 2525 Elm St, Miami Oklahoma, for their steadfast companionship in her final years.

They also would wish to have recognized the caring services of caretakers Audrey Epps, Shelia Draper and hospice RN Russell Thulin. We would also acknowledge the valued friendship of Joe Cook which meant so much to Louise.

A memorial service to celebrate the life of this beautiful woman will be held in the chapel of Paul Thomas funeral home, 1432 B Street Northwest, Miami Oklahoma, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 21.

In lieu of flower or decorations, the family would ask that contributions in the name of Louise Perry be given to the Ronald McDonald House Foundation for children.