Clara Ellen (Yeaton) Perry died on September 4, 2020 after a valiant struggle with lung cancer. Clara Ellen, the daughter of Carl and Margaret Yeaton, was born February 4, 1948 in Augusta, Maine, into a military family. During her childhood, she lived in post-War Japan, Germany and Hawaii, where she graduated from high school.
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Ellen returned to Maine to attend Bates College, where she graduated in 1970 with a major in history. She remained a loyal member of the Bates College Alumni Association, where, at her 10th reunion, her class elected her class president. She served in that role, arranging class reunions and interviewing prospective students for thirty years. Despite her declining health, she volunteered to edit the Class Yearbook for the 50th reunion in June, 2020.
Following her graduation from Bates, Ellen earned a Master of Arts in Teaching at the University of New Hampshire and begun her lifelong teaching career in Social Studies at Spaulding High School in Rochester, NH. She later taught in Somersworth and completed her teaching career with twenty years at Oyster River High School in Durham, where she was the Chair of the Social Studies Department for many years and was active in the Oyster River Teachers Guild serving as the Grievance Officer. She married Charles Perry, a physics teacher at Oyster River High School, in 1985. He pre-deceased her in October of 2019.
Ellen is remembered by students at Oyster River as a demanding teacher, who expected her students to pay attention to her monthly calendar and work hard to meet deadlines. Many students stayed in touch with her after she retired and she cherished her ongoing connection to them. Always an avid golfer, Ellen spent many summer hours at the Nippo Lake Golf Club. After retirement, in 2009 the Perrys became “snowbirds,” spending the winters in The Villages in Florida where they enjoyed playing golf in the warm weather and driving to events in their golf cart, leaving the car in the garage.
Wherever she was, Ellen maintained close relationships with her college friends, and was a part of two different breakfast groups of colleagues from Oyster River High School and the local Seacoast of New Hampshire and Maine. She was always up-to-date on the news of the day, particularly political news in New Hampshire and the country. Friends from near and far visited her during this past year.
Ellen is survived by mother, Margaret Yeaton of Hallowell, Maine, her aunt Cally Fournier of Farmingdale, Maine and cousins, Richard Norcross of Auburn ME, Robert Norcross of Minot ME, Nora Cole of South Gardiner ME, Ron Lachapelle of Manchester ME, Mary Lachapelle of Seattle WA, John Lachapelle of Farmingdale ME, Carl Lachapelle of Hall River NC. She was predeceased by her husband, Charles (Charlie), her father Carl, her brother William and her sister Carla Jean.
She is also survived by her four stepchildren: Charles Perry of Rochester NH, Kenneth Perry (Jen Boulanger) of Westerly RI, Malcolm Perry (Joan) of Derry NH, Annette Perry (Derrick Webber) of Phoenix Arizona as well as five step grandchildren: Susan, Brett, Alexander, Jason and Cole.
A graveside service will be held for the family at Pine Grove Cemetery in Belgrade, Maine on Saturday, September 26 at 11:00 a.m.
Donations in Ellen’s name may be sent to Cross Roads House in Portsmouth, the NH Food Bank or the American Lung Association.
Arrangements are under the care of Wiggin Purdy Funeral Home, Dover, NH; to sign our online guestbook, please go to www.purdyfuneralservice.com