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Gayle Perry, 76, Ridgefield Women's Club Member

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. – Gayle McClain Perry of Ridgefield died July 2. She was 76.

The only child of Otis and Frankie McClain, Perry was born May 22, 1936, in Plainview, Texas. She met at her husband, Bob, at Plainview High School. Perry received an associate's degree in marketing in 1956 from Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas.

She married Bob on Sept. 4, 1956, in Plainview. In the following 20 years, they lived in Victoria, Texas; Charleston, W.Va., and Luling, La., before settling in Ridgefield in 1976. During a five-year residence in Toronto in the 1980s, she volunteered in the surgical waiting room of Toronto General Hospital.

Perry was an active member of the United Methodist Church. After moving to Ridgefield, she served as nursery school coordinator at Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church. She remained active in church activities and was a Stephen minister.

She was a longtime member of the League of Women Voters. She served on the league's board in Ridgefield for many years as public relations chair and historian, mentored new members and managed mock elections at Ridgefield High School.

Perry was custodian of the 100-year-old banner carried by the Equal Franchise League in Ridgefield during the campaign for the women's right to vote.

She was a 25-year member of the Ridgefield Women's Club, where she served as chair of the public issues committee. Perry also supported numerous activities over the years, including “Are You OK” and blood drives.

A photographer, she was a member of the Shutterbugs Camera Club. She also won many blue ribbons at the Women's Club photo contests. One of her photographs was displayed at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.

Perry played clarinet and piano and taught piano lessons for years. She participated in Founders Hall history classes, Ridgefield Library Murder by the Book Club, Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra and CHIRP concerts.

She is survived by her husband of 55 years, Bob G. Perry; a daughter, Debbie Perry, of Danbury; two sons, David Perry, and his partner, Jorge Cortez, of Berkeley, Calif., and Bruce Perry and wife Elizabeth, of Ridgefield; a brother-in-law, Bruce Perry, of Houston; and many friends.

Memorial services and a celebration of her life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 14, at Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church. A reception will follow the service. Jowdy Kane Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Donations may be made to Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church, 207 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877.

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