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PERRY – Elizabeth Therese “Betty”

January 26, 1923 – January 28, 2011

Our beloved mother Elizabeth (Betty) Perry passed away at the age of 88, at dawn on Friday, January 28, 2011. Born in North Sydney and raised in Halifax, N.S. , she married Fred and moved to Calgary in 1947 with their first born son, John. She lived a full and active life though she struggled with grace and courage in declining health in her final years.

Betty worked as a registered nurse in Halifax during the war and, when all her seven children were in school, enrolled at the University of Calgary as a mature student obtaining her B.A. (1970) and B.Ed (1972). She re-entered the workforce and enjoyed her careers, first as a teacher and then as an administrator before retiring in 1989. She taught English at St. Helena’s Middle School (1972) and at Bishop Carroll High School (1973) in Calgary, and on Caye Caulker, Belize (1975). She was Director of Nursing Programs at Lambton College, Sarnia (1976) and of Health Science Programs at Alberta Vocational Centre (now Bow Valley College), Calgary (1978-1984). In retirement she taught English as a Second Language in China, India, Zimbabwe and Japan.

Betty was predeceased by her father, Arthur Abraham, and mother Alice (nee Shields), and three siblings Arthur (Bella), John (Patricia) and Clare (Brian Carreau). Left to celebrate her life are her brother, J. Murray Abraham SJ of Darjeeling District, India, and her seven children: Rev. John SJ of Winnipeg; Judi Gunter (Tom Donoghue) of Calgary; Janet Dunnett (Ed) of Qualicum Beach, BC; Nancy Strider of Vancouver, BC; Christopher (Linda) of Calgary; Steve (Marcy Vigoda) living in Switzerland; and Matt (Janice) of Burlington, ON., as well as twelve grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

The family deeply appreciates the compassionate care provided at both Agapé and Southwood Hospices and at Southwood Care Centre’s Parkland Unit. A special thank you goes to Betty’s loyal and steadfast friend, Donna Michael.

Officiated by her son Rev. John Perry SJ, we will celebrate Betty’s life, legacy and love of God at Prayers at St. Mary’s Cathedral, (219 18th Avenue S.W.) on Friday, February 4, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Mary’s Cathedral, (219 18th Avenue S.W.) on Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. Graveside Service to follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery (Erlton Street/32 Avenue SW ). Forward condolences through Flowers are gratefully declined. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to Canadian Jesuits International, 70 Saint Mary Street, Toronto ON M5S 1J3. Please specify Society of Jesus Agricultural and Social Institute (SOJASI) on your donation.

In living memory of Betty Perry, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Telephone: (403) 243-8200.

Offer Condolence for the family of PERRY – Elizabeth Therese “Betty”

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Condolence Messages

  1. Sr. Marlene Jude FC :

    Betty BELIEVED in a Loving God and I believe she is now enjoying Jesus’ promise of Eternal Life! I pray for Betty and specially for all her loving family. I feel blessed for having met and known Betty. Thank you Judi for keeping in touch.
    Sr. Marlene Jude FC

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  2. My condolences to Betty’s family.She visited me in Singapore about twelve years ago. She was trully a wonderful person.May her soul rest in peace.

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  3. Charlie Marriott :

    My condolences to Janet, Judi, John, and the other members of Betty’s family. I had the good fortune to see Betty often during the years when I was growing up. Although this was more than five decades ago, I still have vivid memories of her generosity, her wit, her grace, and the exuberant ways she celebrated life. She will be greatly missed, not only by her family, but also by the many communities she served and animated.
    Charlie Marriott

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  4. Monica Scheidt :

    The first time I met Betty was at my interview for a job at BVC and I remember at the end of the interview she told me how well I had done – she made me feel wonderful and I will never forget that. As I got to know Betty better over the years I admired her enthusiasm for everything she was involved in. She was always professional at work and a lot of fun away from work.

    Unfortunately, I am unable to attend the service on Saturday, but I send my sincere condolences. Betty was a wonderful person, I am glad that I had the opportunity to know her.

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  5. Margie Hadley :

    I was saddened to see Betty’s obit this a.m. I first met Betty in the fall of 1980 when I decided to take a LPN course at Bow Valley College. It was through her I developed my love of nursing which later saw a Registered Nurse Degree and later my Masters. Last summer I had the pleasure of renewing our relationship when my father was in Southwood Hospice. You are a very accomplished and gracious women and anyone who had the pleasure of spending time with you has had their lives enriched. Sleep well my friend, well done.

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  6. Dear Judi and Tom –

    Judi, we were so sorry to hear about your mom. Our deepest prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.

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  7. FROM: Dr. Vincent P. Lee

    I like to share this with members of the Perry family:

    Fond Memory of My Fairy Godmother
    Dear John, Judy, Janet, Nancy, Christopher, Stephen, and Matthew:

    Your beloved mom, Mrs. Elizabeth Perry was like a fairy godmother to me, and later to my own family.

    After finishing nursing school at the Foothills Hospital in 1970, I was desperately looking for a place to stay while continuing my studies at the University of Calgary. Your parents took me in as a boarder; your home at 2236 Uxbridge Drive was truly for me a home away from home. I still remember the very first time I came to your house, as we got talking, she was delighted to find that she and I shared a few things in common, despite my humble origin from the then British colony Hong Kong, thousands of miles beyond the Pacific Ocean. Mind you, given the kind and loving nature of your mother, it would not have made any difference I’m sure had I not been a Jesuit educated young Catholic and a nurse by training. I was like an adopted son to her. I couldn’t have asked for a more loving and caring fairy godmother to look after me during those early years of my life in Canada. I enjoyed so much her cooking, our lively conversations at the dinner/coffee table, her insights, her laughter, and her life experiences……..; I learned so much from her during those years. We even shared a few smokes (those were my smoking days!) occasionally.

    We kept in touch after your parents moved east, and after her return to Calgary. Every now and then, whenever we were in Calgary I would bring my kids to drop by her apartment near Chinatown: “Let’s go say hello to grandma Perry……”. She would put out cookies and other treats for us; she loved Chinese dim-sum.

    I thank her for her motherly love, friendship and care; I thank God for allowing me the blessing of knowing her. I share with you the memories of a loving mother and a mentor; I share with you your loss. Someday, we will gather together again in the presence of the Lord, and look down at the house at 2236 Uxbridge Drive to rekindle the laughter and the wonderful times we had. Until then, the memories of this great woman will live vividly forever in my/our mind.

    Peace, and love,



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  8. Margaret Usherwood :

    My thoughts and prayers are with the Perry family. I never met Mrs Perry but understood how loved and special she was through her daughter, Judi. Anyone would be proud of the legacy she left: an extensive loving family, a dedicated successful career and from the stories I’ve read, a generous heart. Each of us would be happy to have any one of these attributes awarded to us when we pass.
    My sincerest sympathy. Marg Usherwood

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  9. Bruce Allan Murray :

    My sincere condolences to the whole Perry family. Aunt Betty was a favorite of mine and we shared many fun times together. Although we’ve been out of touch for some years now, my thoughts and prayers are with all my dear cousins, and Uncle Fred. May she be at peace with the Lord, God rest her soul. Bruce and Faye Murray.

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  10. Fr. Bill German :

    Dear Fr. John Mass for your mother and my condolences to you and Abe. Fr. Bill German.

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  11. Honourable Nick Taylor :

    Peg and Nick Taylor have fond memories of the fun and arguments we had with Betty as a member of our CCD group in our Calgary homes Sunday evenings back in the 60’s. She was a vibrant and intelligent person and although you must miss her I know you also realize how blessed you were by having her so close these many years.
    God Bless

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  12. Judi, Betty's daughter :

    Happy International Women’s Day to all the wonderful women who shared Betty’s life. Mom was my friend, my role model and my heroine.

    Today, March 8, 2011, her story was published in the Lives Lived section of the Globe and Mail. Please visit the link:

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  13. Margaret (O'Laughlin) Murphy :

    Betty and I were schoolmates at St. Mary’s Grammar School and St. Patricks High School in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
    During some of those years, we were “best friends” when we were in the same classroom. I frequently visited her home on Mitchell Street, and her Mom was one of my favorite grown ups. Special condolences to Father Murray Abraham, with whom I have been in touch all through his years in India. Rest Well, dear Betty after a life well lived, and pray for us who are left for a while yet.

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