(January 8, 1940 - May 18, 2020)
Mary Louise January Perry was born January 8, 1940 in Vicksburg, MS to the union of Mary and Riley January. Mary was a special child because she was named after her mother Mary and born on her Father's birthday, January 8. She was truly blessed. She was the 5th child of 15.
She peacefully departed this world on May 18, 2020 at her home in Chicago where five of her siblings took care of her 24 hours a day in rotating shifts since April 18, 2020. She loved that her sisters and brothers pampered her. She said they took care of her much better than they did when she was in the hospital in June of 2019.
When Mary was 13 years old, the family moved from Vicksburg, MS to Zion, IL. She became active in Church Choirs in the Zion area. She loved singing for the lord. She was the lead singer for the January Sisters' Trio. Which consisted of Lois, Mary, and Addie. They sang on the radio WKRS, WBBM, and Moody Institute Broadcast. She was involved in stage plays with the Booker T. Washington Club of Zion, IL and Kenosha Hall Center. She appeared in "The Alabaster Box" where she played Mary Magdalene & Mary the Mother of Jesus. At the Parkway Garden Community Theater in Chicago she played Mudea in "Black Girl". She was the commentator for Dave Drazin, Chicago Access TV. She toured with Oscar Brown Jr's Opportunity Please Knock Cast appearing on the Smothers' Brothers T.V. Show in California. She appeared in various films, V.I. Warshasky, Curly Sue, Home Alone Part II, Mo Money, and The Fugitive.
Mary was a vocalist, musician, and a songwriter. She wrote and performed the following songs, Pretending Love, You Make My Day, Sweet Vibrations/Tingling Sensation, I need an understanding man, Mama don't be lonely, Run Grandma Run, You're So Accusatious, and a Love Gone Bad. All songs are copyrighted at the Library of Congress. You may listen to her song on You-tube by searching her song titles and Mary Jan Music.
Mary graduated from Zion Benton High School in 1959. She trained at the Chicago conservatory of Music for voice, Depaul University for piano, Old town School of Folk Lord Music and Kalal Music Studio for Guitar, and Chicago Theatre Connection for Acting.
She worked for the City of Chicago for 31 years until her retirement in 1998.
Mary leaves to cherish her memories 6 sisters, Lois Parker, Addie Culumn, Ann Howell, Gerri (Thomas) Mercer, Lynda (Johnny) Wells, Sheila January-Fort, 3 brothers, Riley January, John (Eunice) January, and Paul January. A host of nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents Riley and Mary January, brothers Charles and Benny January, and sister Shirley Pratt.
A memorial service of Mary's Life will be held at a later date.
Published in News Sun from Jun. 5 to Jun. 6, 2020.