Annette Fedorowsky Perry, beloved family matriarch and Shutesbury resident for more than 60 years, died of natural causes Monday evening in Hadley. She had spent her last day listening to music by her favorite composer, Frédéric Chopin. She was 97.
For over 60 years, Annette lived in an 18th-century farmhouse on Wendell Road in Shutesbury. Many of those decades were spent with her husband, Jack Perry, and their children Jonathan and Chris. Like the home in which she spent so much of her life, Annette was resilient and steadfast, capable of holding many loves and lives within her being.
Annette was a lifelong and devout Catholic, the daughter of Polish immigrants who journeyed to the United States at the turn of the 20th-century, and settled in Brooklyn, New York. Born on July 26, 1924 to Louis and Bernice Fedorowsky, she was the youngest of four siblings that included Frances, Victoria, and Joseph. Although she never attended college “Ankie,” as she was affectionately known throughout her life, was bright and curious, skipping grades to graduate high school at 16.
Annette spent the first chapter of her life as an independent working woman in Manhattan. She took pride in her work at a high-profile actuarial firm and at the offices of Catholic Relief Services of the Archdiocese in New York. In her spare time, she volunteered at the children’s ward at a hospital in Harlem.
In 1956, Annette moved to Massachusetts to care for her aging parents, and worked as a secretary at the advertising agency for the Lestoil detergent company in Holyoke. Though she thought she’d never find the right person to marry, she soon met a commercial copywriter and dashing playwright named Jack Perry. Jack, in turn, was struck by Annette’s sunny disposition and a smile he likened to Doris Day. They were married in 1962 and were devoted to one another for over four decades, until his death in 2004. When he became terminally ill, Annette insisted on caring for Jack herself, in the home they had made together. Then, as always, Annette put others first. And she never wanted a fuss made over her. Even in an obituary.
Annette is survived by her son Jonathan Perry, his wife, Roxanne Euben, and their daughter Asha, of Philadelphia; her son Chris Perry, his wife Esme Green, and their child Penelope, of Cambridge. She also leaves a stepson, Kinson Perry, of Colchester, CN., and many cherished nieces, nephews, and friends. Annette’s family is deeply grateful to the Elaine Center staff in Hadley for their care and kindness, and appreciative of all those who lent a hand in her final years. Annette wished any memorial gifts to be made to a charity of choice in lieu of flowers. A wake will be held between 6 - 8 p.m. riday at the Smith-Kelleher Funeral Home at 87 Franklin Street, Greenfield. A Funeral Mass will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at St. Brigid’s Parish, 122 North Pleasant St., Amherst.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Annette (Fedorowsky) Perry, please visit our floral store.