Merced Sun-Star (Saturday) - - News -

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.


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