Obituary: Alverta L. Perkins, 1924-2018 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Alverta L. Perkins, 1924-2018

Published January 31, 2018 at 5:30 a.m.
Updated January 31, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.

Alverta L. Perkins
  • Alverta L. Perkins

Alverta L. Perkins was born June 12, 1924, in South Bend, Ind., to Lynn and Irene Hagenbush Leighty. She died in Burlington, Vt., January 19, 2018, after a short illness.

In 1945 Alverta graduated from Epworth Hospital Nursing School in South Bend as a registered nurse. She married Bradford Marr Perkins in 1946 and moved to Montpelier, Vt. She lived in Vermont for the rest of her life except for a few years spent in Manchester, N.H. Bradford predeceased her in 2001. After raising her three children, she attended and graduated from the University of Vermont in 1976 with a degree in professional nursing. She was employed at various times at Mary Fletcher Hospital (now the UVM Medical Center), the Burlington Community Health Center, Birchwood Nursing Home and VPSRO, and as a reviewer for Vermont Medicaid.

Alverta worked with Women Helping Battered Women and the Rape Crisis Center during the ’70s and ’80s. She was a longtime activist for women’s rights and gay and lesbian rights. She received one of the first Susan B. Anthony awards from the YWCA.

At age 75, Alverta began competing in the Senior Games in track and field, training at the UVM indoor track. She threw the javelin and shot put and loved the long jump. A high point for her was competing in the 2005 Senior Olympics at age 81.

Alverta is survived by her three children: Doug Perkins and wife, Chree, of Leicester, Vt.; Lynne Pirkkanen and husband, Perry, of Salisbury, Vt.; and Steve Perkins and wife, Mary, of East Calais, Vt. She also is survived by her six grandchildren: Tasi Perkins; Alex Perkins and wife, Katy; Jake Pirkkanen; Erin Pirkkanen; Lauren Williams and husband, Justin; and Lindsey Perkins. She is also survived by her two great-grandchildren: Devin Perkins and Grayson Williams. A memorial service will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 10, at the Burlington Friends Meeting, 173 North Prospect St., Burlington, VT. A celebration of her life will follow. In the spring she will be buried next to her husband in East Calais.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Alverta’s name to Steps to End Domestic Violence (formerly Women Helping Battered Women) or to any chapter of the Humane Society of Vermont.

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