Mema's Eulogy

on
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Here is the sweet Eulogy written and read by Matt at Mema's memorial service today

Reba Avant Perry
February 5, 1926 - June 30, 2013

Good afternoon.  As you all know, I am Matt Eckley, Emily’s husband.  Emily was one of the two children that Ann (Mrs. Perry’s youngest child) and Gary had.  It is my honor to give an address to you from all of Mrs. Perry’s family. 

Reba Perry was born Reba Avant in Eclectic, Alabama, on February 5, 1926.  She is survived by her four children Michael Perry, Susan Rogers, Donald Perry, and Ann East;  her seven grandchildren Steven and Joseph Perry, David & Ben Rogers, Mary Leatherwood, Emily Eckley, and Andrew East;  and her seven great-grandchildren Kenneth, Joy, & William Rogers, Everett Leatherwood, Ben & Kate Eckley, and Perry East. 

Reba Perry was married to her husband Tom Perry for just over 60 years, until his death about six years ago.  In her late husband’s memoirs he tells of his courtship with Reba and their quick mutual attraction (albeit seemingly greater on his part than hers).  Reflecting on his first impressions of Mrs. Perry, Tom noted that she was “cute, a lot of fun, and very congenial.” 

Reba Perry’s loving devotion to her husband and children was just one part of the legacy that she would leave for those in her family.  You can see other examples of that legacy here in these quilts.  Not only do they provide a material blessing for future generations, but they represent Mrs. Perry’s extraordinary work ethic and her avoidance of idle wasting of time. 

Another part of the legacy that Reba Perry leaves to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren is her gracious and kind attitude to all those she met.  This attitude did not just happen by accident but was a result of Reba’s relationship with her Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ.  Reba counted her knowledge and understanding of the Lord as her greatest glory.  We know this not only from her fruit, but also from her constant study of God’s Word and the devotion she showed in ensuring her children also had a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. 

Even in recent years when her mind was affected by Alzheimer’s the evidence of her relationship with her Lord still was present.  The joy that Reba Perry experienced in her relationship with the Lord was often shown through her smile.  While those that were around and cared for Mrs. Perry during these last months and years of her life mourned the loss of her memory, her smile continued to provide comfort to us.  It was like a gift or reminder for her family and caregivers that she was at peace and prepared to meet her Lord face to face. 

The hope that Reba Perry had, the very same hope that is available to all of us, is what provides comfort to those of us that remain here.  While we may continue to mourn our loss of Reba Perry, there is joy in knowing that she now has a perfected body and worships with the saints who have gone on before her in the presence of the Lamb of God who died for the sins of the world.  And the further hope that those of us that follow the legacy left by Reba Perry and put our faith in the Lord will one day worship next to her in Heaven. 


In closing, the family of Reba Perry would like to give special appreciation to the nurses and caregivers that cared for her in these last difficult years.  Your care for Mrs. Perry went beyond your mere job.  Thank you for the care you provided and for assisting in making her last days in this world comfortable. 

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