Mary Ellen 'M.E.' Perrizo

Posted: Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Kenai resident Mary Ellen "M.E." Perrizo died Sunday, Nov. 28, 2008, at the Native Medical Center in Anchorage. She was 60.

A memorial service will be held at the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska at 9711 Kenai Spur Highway in Kenai at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6. Archpriest Father Marcarius Targonsky of the Holy Assumption of the Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Church will officiate. A celebration of life will follow the service at the same location. Her ashes will be scattered in Cook Inlet during fishing season next year.

Mrs. Perrizo was born Aug. 17, 1948, in Anchorage to Charles and Rika Doolittle. She was raised at the family homestead in Kenai.

She worked for the National Bank of Alaska, Kozlosky's Men's Store, Shell Oil E & P and the Kenai Senior Citizens Center.

"She retired early to pursue her love of art, which included moody watercolors, calligraphy, dazzling stained glass creations and some beautiful poetry. One of her watercolors hangs in a Russian museum on Sakhalin Island. Most recently, she became a driven knitter. She was also a valuable deckhand on the family fishing vessel the F/V Blue Eyes," her family said.

"Her love of people and passion for letter writing and correspondence was a gift she enjoyed sharing with others. Most of her correspondence was done in calligraphy and it was not uncommon for her entire Christmas card list and her address books to be hand lettered. She loved antiques and anything to do with the sea and commented many times that she must have 'saltwater in her veins.' Her home was a reflection of that love and she graciously shared it with her family and friends.

"She was proud of her Native heritage and served on her village (Salamatof) board of directors for 17 years. In addition, she was known for preserving the traditional way of preparing hard smoked salmon (baleek), as taught to her by her mother. She was a member of Cook Inlet Region Inc., Salamatof Native Association, Kenai Natives Association and the Kenitze Indian Tribe."

Mrs. Perrizo was preceded in death by her mother; father; sister, Laura Jean; brothers, George (Sonny), Ralph and Gene; and two nieces/godchildren, Doreen Harmon and Danielle Carpenter.

She is survived by her husband of 17 years, Steven Perrizo of Kenai; sister, Hazel Felton, of Anchorage; and many sisters and brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.

The family suggests memorial donations be made in her name to the Alaska Native Cancer Foundation, c/o The Alaska Community Foundation, 400 L Street, Suite 100, Anchorage, AK 99501.

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