Reita Helene Hundley Perry was born in Chicago, IL to Frederick Douglas Hundley and Hattie Jewel Hunter on October 30, 1931. Reita was the second of two girls. She graduated from Shiloh Academy in Chicago and attended Oakwood College where she graduated with an Associates Degree in 1950.
Upon returning to Chicago, she later met and married March Bernard Perry, Jr. in 1952. To this union they added four children.
Reita worked for the U.S. Post Office in Chicago for 15 years before moving with family to Birmingham, AL, her husband’s home town. In Alabama, Reita was hired at Union Oil Company where she was the first black employee in a professional capacity. She worked for two years before a surgical complication, forced her into disability. This left her a homemaker during the teen years of her children which became a blessing to the family, she and her husband enjoyed bible work and were active in church planting during these years, mostly in Pell City and Talladega, AL.
In 1983, Reita returned to the work force as a disabled employee for the U. S. Army working at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL as an education specialist, qualifying soldiers for continuing education. She retired in 1993 after the death of her husband of 40 years. This gave her 25 years of civil service.
After retirement, she became active with community services with the Oakwood SDA Church. She was also very active in helping to raise her grandchildren. Some of her hobbies included crocheting, building miniature houses and reading. She was extremely creative. Her gifts to family and friends were blankets of many colors.
“Mrs. Reita” as she was affectionately known fell asleep Friday May 4th. She was preceded in death by her husband March, Jr.; her parents, Fred and Hattie Hundley; parents-in-law, March, Sr. and Elsie Perry; a brother-in-law, Benjamin Furman, Jr. and a sister-in-law, Christine Johnson.
She is survived by her sister Lois Furman, of Nashville, TN; a sister-in-law, Josephine Betts (Moses),of Los Angeles, CA; two brothers-in-law, Lee Perry(Pamela),of Ferguson, MO; Michael Perry (Evelyn), of Palmdale, CA; Her children: Vincent Perry (Maria), of Hoover, AL; Vikki Thomas, Birmingham, AL; Valerie Perry-Terrell, of Atlanta GA and Vernice Perry-Cosey, of Austin, TX. Reita also has a special nephew Fred Furman (Emirya), of Nashville, TN.
There are 11 grandchildren: Rhegess Perry (Jacquelyn), of Hoover, AL; Magdalene Wellman, of Gaithersburg, MD; Rhyan Perry (Lakesha), of Jonesboro, GA; Clayton Wellman (Briana), of Gaithersburg, MD; Christopher Wellman, of Gaithersburg, MD; Rhyshae Perry-Malone, of Athens, AL; Jeffrey Perry (Kedrian), of Austin, TX; Nigel Terrell (Jessica), of Orlando, FL; Nicholas Terrell, of Atlanta, GA; Jarrett Coleman, of Austin, TX, and Kevin Anderson of Tuscaloosa, AL. Reita has 21 great-grandchildren and a host of special cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.