Pearle S. Perkins, 97, died from natural causes at her home in West Tisbury on Feb. 9, 2017. Born in Maroa, Ill., on Feb. 26, 1919, she attended Illinois State Normal University, majoring in speech and debate. She married John Lafayette Perkins in 1941, and the couple settled in Columbus, Ohio. The family moved to the Chicago area in 1957, where Pearle was a homemaker, then sold real estate in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs for several years. She and the family attended the First Presbyterian Church of La Grange, where she sang in the choir for 33 years. After retiring, she moved to Bristol, R.I., to be closer to her daughter and son-in-law. She resided at North Farm in Bristol for 24 years before relocating the the Vineyard in 2014.
A dedicated and unwavering Ohio State and Chicago Bears fan, Pearle cheered her teams with passion through winning and losing seasons. Pearle loved the ocean and the magnificent sailing schooners that navigate the seas. She surrounded herself with paintings and prints of the ocean and ships by her favorite artist, Charles Vickery, whom she commissioned to do a special sunset painting. Mr. Vickery often painted his works accompanied by pianist Hazel Troeger. Miss Troeger was the major influence in Pearle’s daughter Jan pursuing her career in music education, which Jan continues today at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School.
Pearle was an avid reader of all genres, often reading two or more books at a time. Her debating experience contributed to her excellent vocabulary and made her an interesting and entertaining conversationalist. She was an expert at word games, Scrabble, and crossword puzzles. Pearle also spent much time crocheting, and as a leftie, taught herself to knit, making sweaters, afghans, placemats, hats, coasters, and scarves, also creating many baby blankets for friends and relatives. She loved playing piano, singing, listening to music, and attending concerts and musical productions in Chicago, Boston, Providence, New York, and London. Another of her joys was traveling. She and her husband went to Europe, South America, and on cruises with real estate groups, and she spent many holidays in the Caribbean with her husband, daughter, and son-in-law. Paris and Barbados were her particular favorites.
She is predeceased by her husband John L. Perkins and daughter Sandra Kay Hall, and survived by daughter Jan Wightman and her husband John Wightman of Aquinnah, and grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews around the country. Pearle was a person of strong moral and ethical values, possessing a generous spirit, and was always a lady who conducted herself with grace. She was loved by all who had the good fortune to know her. The one word that many people used to describe Pearle was “amazing.”
Many thanks to Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation facility, Horizons Geriatric Care Management, Pearle’s wonderful caregivers, and the Hope Hospice staff for helping Pearle’s family to make her last years here on the Vineyard comfortable and rewarding. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Pearle’s favorite charity, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, using the Memorial and Honor Gifts Form on their website.