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Beverly “Bev” Perry of St. Paul, age 92 passed away on August 21, 2023 surrounded by her family. Preceded in death by her husband Joseph, daughter Cynthia Ales (Stephen Ales), Parents: Ann Ferdig and Michael McGing. Children: Laura Hermann (Joseph), Dianna Dunn (Dennis), Barbara Bougie (Linda Swanda), Jerry Olesen (Karen), Michael Olesen (Laurie), Joann Perry (Festus), Pamela Hernandez: 15 Grandchildren, 26 Great-Grandchildren, 6 Great-Great Grandchildren.
Bev’s main focus in her long life was a devotion to family, woman’s rights, social justice, creating employment opportunities for inner-city people and changing health and lifestyles. She believed and practiced the notion that education is the key to interrupting poverty. She began her own education journey to mitigate poverty following a divorce, while raising 6 children all under the age of 17, on her own.
She attended community college focusing on counseling, and was self-educated in many disciplines, notably behavioral learning problems, healthcare and nutrition. As her knowledge grew, so too was the demand from the community for her expertise, as they learned and heard about “Bev Perry”. She taught extensively in the Saint Paul School system with emotionally disturbed children and those with learning disabilities. Through self-education, she designed special learning programs for grade-school and middle-school level education throughout Saint Paul, including, teaching basic reading skills at St. Peter Clavier School. She worked at Wayside in Minneapolis as a counselor, a halfway house for chemically dependent women and volunteered at Naomi Family center for abused women.
She learned massage therapy at Sister Rosalind massage center. She continued to add additional therapy techniques to enhance healing, including a trip to Spain to learn about Transcendental Meditation (TM). Upon her return, she began teaching TM, incorporating it into overall wellness. And from there she set up her own business at her home in Saint Paul, practicing massage therapy well into age 70.
She remarried in 1969 to Joseph Perry and together, they opened a vegetarian restaurant named Safron Garden in St. Paul. Bev was an excellent cook and many would enjoy her vegetarian meals as well as her famous soups. In her spare time, she often hosted individuals at her home, teaching nutrition.
Perhaps her most gracious gift, together with Joseph, was opening their home and their hearts for over 40 years to Adult Foster Care through Ramsey County. The county could always count on Bev and Joe to take the “tough” cases, knowing these individuals were in good hands at the Perry residence. Through their efforts, countless number of people’s lives were changed as result. Think of all the lives they touched.
Bev freely shared her gifts to others. Gratitude was practiced in her daily life. She was a lover of life, and a natural gatherer of friends, constantly learning and giving. She was a gift to all who met her and knew her. The many people she touched in every kind word or deed reflected her love and devotion to people no matter their ethnicity or religious beliefs. She shall be missed by all who knew her.