Kathryn Perrone

November 2, 1959 - December 20, 2022

Kathryn Perrone (nee Coryell) died on December 20, 2022 in her home in Portland, Oregon, holding the hand of her husband of nearly 41 years, Marc, and at the age of just 63.

 

She loved children, none more than her own: Eleanor and husband Mark Toriski of Chicago, Illinois; Benjamin, wife Ana Iglesias, and sons Matias and Luca of Sudbury, Massachusetts; and Miranda and husband Patrick, most recently of Freiburg, Germany. She cherished her family, including the in-laws and grandchildren she was blessed to meet later in life. She was preceded in death by her father Ralph Coryell; and father-in-law Patrick Perrone. She is survived by her mother Mary Coryell of Gainesville, Florida; her mother-in-law Miriam Perrone of Madison, Wisconsin; her sisters Nancy of Gainesville, Florida, Susan (David) Mikolaitis of Gainesville, Florida, and Linda (Ory) Eshel of Fontainebleau, France; her brothers-in-law Paul of Madison, Wisconsin, Dan (Lola) of Seville, Spain, and Matt (Alicia) of Madison, Wisconsin; and nine nieces and nephews around the world, with whom she built deep and meaningful relationships.

 

Kathryn was kind, warm, loyal, generous, and gently fierce, traits imbued into those from whom she is now separated. In striving to discover the woman she became, Kathryn learned from her mother to “cut your cloth to fit your circumstances,” and from her father to believe that “it’s always possible to become a better version of yourself.” Kathryn was very close in age to her three sisters and sometimes struggled to distinguish herself from them with her own identity. In high school, that journey of self-discovery included time spent living with family in Lubbock, Texas, and then later leaving her birthplace of Cincinnati, Ohio to attend the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Her college experience not only introduced her to her husband, Marc, deepened her relationship with her sister Susan and brothers-in-law Dan and David, and introduced her to lifelong friends, but it also gave her the opportunity to explore interests through academics and beyond. She eventually married Marc, moved to Chicago, Illinois, and graduated with a degree in early childhood education.

 

Kathryn’s journey through her 20s and 30s was defined by her choice to dedicate herself to the work of the home and family, raising her three children between Chicago, Illinois, Atlanta, Georgia, and finally Shorewood, Wisconsin, where she and Marc made their home for nearly 25 years and built a lasting sense of community for themselves and their children. She channeled her love of children and her belief in education into motherhood, and became a hands-on and engaged mother, volunteering her time and talent for her children’s activities, including Girls Scouts, Little League Baseball, soccer leagues, and the Shorewood School District. As her children grew older and started school, she shifted her attention back to her own learning with classroom teaching roles, first at Lake Bluff Elementary (Shorewood, Wisconsin), and then at the Milwaukee Jewish Day School (Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin). She later pursued an interest in IT and network administration, and eventually took on a leadership role in the IT department for the City of West Allis, Wisconsin, where remained until her early retirement.

 

Through the years, Kathryn cultivated a love of being outside that sprang from experiences with her sisters exploring the gully, creek, and woods around their childhood home on Sturbridge Drive. She organized family road trips across the United States, often centered around National Parks of the West, and eventually visited all 50 states. Inspired in part by their shared love of nature, and by their flexibility as empty nesters, Kathryn and Marc moved to Portland, Oregon in their later years. Although Kathryn’s metastatic cancer diagnosis came just one year later, they still found ways to explore and appreciate the Pacific Northwest and to remain connected to family and friends across the country and around the world. As her health and the COVID-19 pandemic made it more difficult to make the trips she would have otherwise desired, Kathryn’s family flocked from around the world to share experiences together in her final years. Although she was raised in an Evangelical Christian household, Kathryn found her community in family and in her connection to an earth-rooted sense of spirituality that transcended an omnipotent deity. These sources of support comforted her immensely and shepherded her through her final years.

 

In honor of Kathryn’s belief in lifelong learning and dedication to high quality educational opportunities for all children, memorial gifts can be made to the Shorewood SEED Foundation, which supports the Shorewood, Wisconsin school district.

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