KATHERINE YVONNE LOVEDAY PERRY JAMES NOV 25, 1937 - DEC 23, 2018
Katherine Yvonne Loveday Perry James known to most as “Yvonne” went to the Lord on December 23, 2018. She was born on November 25, 1937 in Knoxville, Tennessee to Elizabeth Jane Loveday. Yvonne was Jane’s only child and they had a very special Mother-Daughter relationship. They were extremely close and “Granny Jane” spent many years living with Yvonne and her family and then often came to visit.
Yvonne grew up in Knoxville and married her high school sweetheart, Ben Franklin Perry. Ben was a pilot in the military and they were happily married for seventeen years until a tragic plane accident took Ben’s life. Ben and Yvonne had three children, Ben Jr., Daniel, and Melanie. Many happy summers were spent on their boat and camping. They enjoyed doing things together as a family such as family motorcycle rides or going to get ice cream on special nights that included getting a scoop for each of their dogs. Yvonne was a devoted wife and loving mother. She was dedicated to her children and spent time doing such things as Cub Scout Den Mother, Baseball and Football Team Parent, and Dance Mom.
Yvonne was blessed to marry another military pilot, Clifford Alfred James, in 1975. Right after they were married they spent time in Minot, North Dakota and then moved to Merced, California in 1979 as Cliff was stationed at Castle Air Force Base. This became their permanent home after his retirement.
Yvonne enjoyed being a military wife. She was President of the Officer’s Wives Club and was chairman of the Thrift Shop located on the base. In 1985 Yvonne started working at the Merced City Chamber of Commerce and in 1987 became the Executive Director. She served on many city committees and worked with numerous organization. Some of her community support included sitting on the Board of Directors for the Castle Air Museum, she was on the Board for Merced City Parks and Recreation, member of the Board for United Way, and President of the Valley Vintage Car Club. She enoyed working with people and making them smile. In recent years she and some of her close friends celebrated Christmas by buying gifts and taking them to the students at Merced County Office of Education special education classroom at the Wolfe Transition Center.
Yvonne worked for several years at Gottschalks in different positions. One of her favorite jobs was being the bridal registar. Meeting and working with all the couples brought her joy.
Besides her family and husband Cliff, Yvonne loved to travel. She and Cliff went on numerous cruises and she often went to Louisiana to visit her sons. Yvonne was fond of reading and cooking. Most of all, she wanted to make other people happy. She was very generous and loved putting a smile on other people’s faces.
Yvonne will be forever missed by her loving husband Cliff James, her son Ben Franklin Perry Jr. and his wife Kim; daughter Melanie Cole and her husband Jeff; grandchildren Katherine Parker, Christopher Cole, Ben Franklin Perry III and great-granddaughter Remington Parker.
Yvonne is survived by stepsons Brent James, Chet James (Judy), Jeff James, Bryce James, Allen James (Laura) and 13 grandchildren.
Yvonne was preceded in death by daughter Carol Ann Perry, husband Ben Franklin Perry, mother Elizabeth Jane Loveday, son Daniel Martin Perry, and grandson Sean Linn Perry.
Per Yvonne’s request there will be no service or Celebration of Life and the family will honor her request. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Castle Air Museum 5050 Santa Fe Drive Atwater, CA 95301.