LOIS LOCKWOOD PERRIER died peacefully on April 1, 2021 at the age of 92 in her Scarborough home of many years, surrounded by her children, grandchildren and beloved pets.
She was born on May 31, 1928 in East Orange, NJ and spent her early years on her Grandmother's farm in Pennsylvania. Lois attended school in a one-room schoolhouse and because she was a quick learner she was asked to tutor other children of all ages, perhaps a foreshadowing of her future vocation.
Lois had many jobs as a teen during the1940s including blueberry picking, waitressing, and one memorable job screwing the caps on toothpaste tubes after which she vowed never to do factory work again. She was Valedictorian in high school and the only person in her family to go to college. Lois graduated from Douglas College in NJ, where she met future husband Mark Perrier who was at Rutgers.
Lois lived in Greenwich Village after World War II, where she did secretarial work in New York City. Due to her high intelligence and discretion she was hired by the National Committee for a Free Europe, a wonderful job for a History major. In 1952 she married Mark, who worked in advertising, and they eventually moved to Tarrytown where they had 2 daughters, Martha and Catherine.
Lois was a homemaker throughout the 50's and 60's. She did a term as President of the local League of Women Voters, volunteered in the PTA and at the Unitarian Church. She returned to school in the early 1970's at Columbia University for her MA in Special Education, and afterwards began working as a Special Ed teacher, spending 22 years in the Pleasantville school district. After retirement she continued to do substitute teacher work at Blythedale Children's hospital well into her seventies.
Lois was a lifelong learner. In her sixties she studied the Japanese language and exchanged visits with friends in Japan, took up ballroom dancing and danced several times a week for many years. She was a member of Mensa and the Unitarian church, attended many Unitarian workshops, and worked at their recurring summer month-long retreat in Star Island, Maine. She sang for years in the Pleasantville Choir, was an avid reader and gardener, and enjoyed following current political events.
In 2001 Lois and Mark reunited after divorcing in the 1970s, and until his death in 2019 they shared much laughter, movies, music, and enjoyment of their children and grandchildren. She is survived by daughters Martha of Victoria, British Colombia, Catherine of Scarborough, New York, and grandsons Ian McBrayer and James and William Gary.
Her graceful welcoming nature, patience, kindness, and a rare capacity for forgiveness will be deeply missed by those who knew and loved her. In lieu of flowers, donations are welcome to be made to Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya or Skylands Animal
Sanctuary in New Jersey.
Published by River Journal from Apr. 6 to Apr. 7, 2021.