Eileen Gerard Perley, 92, of Westfield passed away peacefully on Saturday morning, April 11, 2020.
Born in New York City on March 1, 1928, Eileen graduated from Tuckahoe High School and studied at Packard Junior College and Hunter College. Afterwards she worked in Rockefeller Center for the Branham Company. Eileen met her future husband, Harry (“Bob”) Perley, Jr., while he was attending Princeton University and they married on November 4, 1951. After several moves while raising three children, Eileen and Bob arrived in Westfield, NJ in 1967. During the 1980’s, they spent two years in Saudi Arabia where Bob worked on an ExxonMobil project. This assignment afforded them the opportunity to do several tours covering Europe and Egypt. After two years, they capped their adventure with a round-the-world tour before returning back to Westfield. Eileen called Westfield home for 49 years.
Eileen and Bob enjoyed golfing and tennis at the Echo Lake Golf Club and Westfield Tennis Club. Eileen became an accomplished member of the women’s 18 Holers group. This success vexed her husband as she was more than his equal at golf. Eileen was also active in several service organizations including the garden club and historical society.
In 2016, Eileen moved to the Brightview Warren Senior Assisted Living Center in Warren, NJ. She quickly became “the Mayor” for the center. Eileen’s family wishes to thank all of the Brightview staff for making her recent years so enjoyable and caring.
Eileen (“Grams” to her grandkids) is loved and greatly cherished by her family and friends. She would always greet her grandkids and great-grandkids with a smile and a grand affectionate hug. They all have special stories of Grams, her antics and her uplifting compliments (always a kind word) despite whatever the circumstances may have been. Eileen adored visiting New York City, especially the theater, restaurants and stores. Rockefeller Center at Christmas was always a special time for her. She never tired of walking blocks and blocks, even in her later years, to window shop and enjoy the sights. Always friendly and outgoing, Eileen knew everyone and would always be saying “Oh Hi !” to someone at the club, at Holy Trinity Church, her garden club friends and more.
Eileen was preceded in death by her husband, Bob, of 57 affectionate years and her parents, Harry and Elizabeth Gerard.
Eileen is survived by her two siblings, Marie Malone and Bernard Gerard. Further, she is survived by her three children; Beth Kroncke, Dave Perley and Doug Perley. She is missed by her four grandchildren; Lauren Hayes, Neil Kroncke, Meghan Leggett and Kathleen Perley. And also missed by her eight great-grandchildren; Owen, Finley and Carson Hayes, Aiden Kroncke, Everett Becraft, Graham, and Campbell and James Leggett.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a private funeral service was held on Thursday, April 16, 2020 at Higgins & Bonner Echo Lake Funeral Home of Westfield followed by a private grave site ceremony at Fairview Cemetery – Westfield.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Children’s Specialized Hospital – Mountainside at 150 New Providence Road, Mountainside, NJ or to the Alzheimer's Association Greater New Jersey Chapter. If you wish, please direct tribute acknowledgements to Beth Kroncke at 217 Prospect Ave, #8-4B, Cranford, NJ 07016 and she will let the rest of the family know of your kindness and memorial for our Eileen.
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