Kathleen (Kay) A. Perham, age 89, went home to the Lord on Friday, April 26, 2019 while wrapped in the love of her family, who surrounded her as she finished her journey on earth.
She was born in Boylston, NY, the daughter of Ella and Carmen Perry, and a sister to 12 siblings. She was pre-deceased by her husband of 63 years, Carl E. Perham, who passed away in 2012.
She is survived by three sisters, Beatrice Herrick, Bernice (Kenneth) Jolly, and Darlene (James) Colburn; her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. As well as several beloved nieces and nephews.
Kay was a talented artist whose paintings grace homes all over the state. Her ability to capture the essence of life in her oil paintings was an amazing gift to all she shared her talent with. She also was an incredible author, who at the age of 87, published her first novel, and will publish her next novel next month. Her writing style allowed the reader to actually participate in the lives of her characters, amongst creative storylines submerged in morality and unwavering faith.
Kay lived her faith. Her devotion to the Lord guided her life and shown bright on every life she ever touched. Her kind, generous spirit led her to donate time, energy, and financial support to her church and her community. On any given day, you would find her sitting at her easel painting, typing out her latest novel on her “Smith-Corona” typewriter, or crocheting tiny blankets and hats for the newborns served by the Crisis Pregnancy program at her church. She loved watching people fall in love with her work – whether it was a painting, a book she wrote or the head of a baby she knew would now be warmer, it all filled her generous heart with love.
Daily she would role model the family mantra of, “A Perham never gives up.” Her sheer grit, determination, and often characterized stubbornness, made her a successful and much loved, daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Her endless giving heart and loving personality made everyone she ever met feel like a valued member of the family. Kay believed that the greatest gifts she had ever received from God were her children. When asked what she would want people to know after she was gone, she quickly replied, “I want all my children to know they were loved every minute of my life and they will always be in my heart.” This amazing woman taught her children how to be good human beings, creating a family who is kind, forgiving, and loving to each other. No matter whether it was physically, emotionally or spiritually – she simply “showed up” for her family. Whether it was a phone call of encouragement, a supportive and loving note, a humorous light-hearted card or a prayer said for you, she was always present.
Kay gave birth to eight children; Ernest – deceased (Linda), Frederick – deceased, Kathy Furneaux (Paula Killian), Ruth Hall (Tim Ingersoll), Carl (Cathy), Cynthia White (Terry), Marie Radley, Amy Perham (Johnny Maxey). She has 31 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren.
She has been the soul and grace of the Perham family for 72 years. Her passing leaves a hole in our hearts that will never be filled.
There will be a Mass to celebrate her life on Friday, May 3, 2019 at 11:30 AM at St. Anne Mother of Mary Catholic Church, 3352 Main Street, Mexico, NY.
It was Kay’s wishes that in lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Crisis Pregnancy Center at St. Anne Mother of Mary Church in Mexico, or a donation to the Town of Parish Public Library in Parish, NY.