Aileen M. "Amy" (Nord) Perkins
Aileen Marie Perkins, "Amy", was a grandma, mom, daughter, sister, wife, teacher, counselor and artist. She loved all these things, but most of all, she loved being a mom and grandma. She loved to write and illustrate stories for her family, stories of her life as a little girl in Goodhue, Minn., growing up on a farm with three brothers and a sister, stories of a girl who was born on the day that would become Pearl Harbor Day, but 11 years before, December 7, 1930. She loved these stories of her childhood with her Pop's sorrel work horses, the special smells in the barn of old leather, sweat and straw, the one-room schoolhouse, nature walks with Aunt Lillian and the year marked by the seasons of planting, haying, harvest, threshing, silo filling and corn picking.
She was the first of her family to graduate college at St. Olaf, and would later insist her children listen to the recordings of the choir that she had such fond memories. She became a high school teacher, first in Minnesota, then in California. She later got her Masters in Counseling and worked at Sequoia Intermediate in Newbury Park, Calif. She was infinitely proud of her three children she raised as a single mom in Camarillo: Bill, Kevin and Adrienne. She loved them fiercely; she would have fought wolves with slathering jaws and snarling teeth (another childhood story), to protect her children, and they knew it! She painfully lost her son, Bill, when he was 23, and it almost broke her, but she was stronger than any of us could have imagined, even at the end of her life when she fought cancer to have some more days with her family, until July 13, 2017.
It was at the end of her career as an educator that she rekindled her friendship with James (Jim) Perkins. She remarried to have more happy days in Oak View, Calif., and an enlarged family with Jim's four children, Pam, Chris, Nancy and Mark, and eventually 13 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
She had always had a hand for sketching, but no time to indulge, until retirement when she and Jim took art classes at Ventura College. Watercolor was her favorite medium; she loved color and to point out the beauty around us. We all knew she was talented, but when we went through the hundreds of pieces that had never been shared, her talent and humbleness were astonishing. She gave time and talent to her church, her ministry of quilting, tutoring and teaching. She was kind and gentle and just a little fierce (don't get her started on Trump or politics), and her greatest aspiration was for those around her to know she loved them. She loved us all so much! In her journal she kept favorite quotes, so to close, with one by an artist she admired: Van Gogh,
"The more I think about it, the more I realize, there is nothing more artistic than to love others."
There will be a service to celebrate Amy's life and love, on September 30, at 2 p.m., Mount Cross Lutheran Church in Camarillo; please join us.