Jean Wilson Perney

June 4, 1926March 8, 2020

Jean Wilson Perney, age 93, of Bloomington died peacefully at home on Sunday (03/08/20). On June 4,1926, in Madison, Indiana, she was born to Dale and Lola (Phillips) Wilson. Jean married the love her life, Warren Perney, on June 13, 1948. She graduated cum laude from Hanover College in 1948 and received her M.S. in Christian Ministries from Butler University in 1967. She took graduate courses in social work and mental retardation at I.U.P.U.I. Jean’s life was dedicated to service. She served as Dir. Of Christian Ed. At FBC Bloomington (1948-1952) and Madison, Wisconsin (1958). During this time she was active with the Roger Williams Fellowship. From 1961-1968, Jean was Director of Community Outreach at Woodruff Place Baptist in Indianapolis. 1969 till retirement in 1992, she held various titles eventually serving as manager of community support services for the Marion County Association for Retarded Citizens. Community activities included organizing the Senior Citizens Club in 1961 and the Inter-group Friendship Women’s Club to promote interracial understanding in 1962. She taught a Seminar in Practical Christianity from 1970-1975, was a member of the Corrections Task Force with P.A.C. E. from 1975-1980, and a member of the state board of Indiana Association of Guardians. She was a founder of Habitat for Humanity in Indpls. She was a founder of Congregation of the Covenants and active in Church of the Savior (Indpls.), University Baptist, and First United (Bloomington). In retirement she published genealogy books. Jean is survived by her daughter, Patricia Diane “Patty” Perney and her son, David (wife-Beth) Perney, both of Bloomington; grandchildren: Dana (Doug) Thompson, Christi Perney, Nathan (Rachael) Perney and Ben Perney and great-grandchildren: Dylan, Olivia, Miles, Luc, Wes, and Carmina. Jean was preceded in death by her husband, parents and sister, June Strauss A Congregation of the Covenants House Church gathering will be on Sunday at 5:00 p.m. at the Day & Deremiah-Frye Funeral; 4150 E. Third St. A public graveside service will be on Monday at 2:30 pm at Oaklawn Memorial Gardens, Indianapolis. A memorial service is planned in June for all to attend. Memorial contributions may be given to Habitat for Humanity. Online condolences may be given at


  • Habitat for Humanity


  • Congregation of the Covenants House Church Gathering

    Sunday, March 15, 2020

  • Graveside Service

    Monday, March 16, 2020


Jean Wilson Perney

have a memory or condolence to add?

Ada Sullivan

March 24, 2020

It is with sadness in my heart to hear of Jean's passing. We met almost twenty years via genealogy. Jean is my 4th cousin through Peter Sherman. My late husband (Dwight) and I visited Warren and Jean several trips tromping through the cemeteries of Decatur. Memorable times sharing and contributing along with with cousin Nancy Kryway to complete our ancestor's book Peter Sherman.
I love you Jean and miss you. Peace be with you.
Ada Claire Thompson Sullivan
Sun City West, Arizona

Betty Storey

March 22, 2020

Jean and I were cousins. Our grandmothers were sisters. Although we lived many miles apart, I visited her parents and Jean and her sister June when I was in my late teens. We shared many happy times although I was 5 years younger and they were already married. Over the years we took several trips to the area where our relatives had lived and where Jean had grown up. Years later Jean and I took a Med cruise and a "Steps of Paul" Tour together. We even climbed down the side of a ship on a rope ladder in Santorini at age 65. We stayed a week on each of the Greek Islands and toured the Greek mainland. Afterward Jean used my video tape at some of her church services. Both of us were interested in our Morgan genealogy and spent hours (really years) tracing our relatives. We later collaborated with Dave Mordy in writing a book on the Morgan ancestry. The 555 page leather-bound book is in the Library of Congress (Catalog Card #96-78178). Jean continued her tireless work in genealogy writing even more books. It was a labor of love for her. I will miss Jean and our frequent phone calls . Ironically the last one was apparently just before she passed when we spent an hour on the phone reminiscing about our lives together. It was a wonderful hour.

David Mordy

March 21, 2020

It has been a privilege for me to know Jean for almost 30 years, ever since I worked with her as a co-author of a family genealogy and history book connecting more than 3500 relatives and ancestors. It must have taken at least four years of extensive work to finish and publish our book about 25 years ago. Our project would never have been done without Jean to make the work interesting and fun.

With my highest regards for such a gracious and wonderful person,

David Mordy

Charlie Mascus

March 14, 2020

Jean was such a wonderful and caring person. We have known her over 40 years thru Church of The Saviour. She and Warren always visited my wife in the hospital and shared many church interests. Jean was truly a ray of sunshine and will be missed by all those who knew her.
Sadly Sent,
Charlie & Jon Mascus

Sharon Kennedy

March 14, 2020

To Jean's family,
My deepest sympathy on your loss. I met Jean at Noble Centers, Indianapolis in the mid-1980s, where we both worked. What a lovely/kind lady.

We shared a passion for genealogy/family history research over the years. I missed seeing and visiting with her more, after she moved to Bloomington.

May she rest in peace! Sharon Kennedy

Carol Adams

March 13, 2020

My deepest sympathy to the family of this special lady. I will miss my Hanover/Phi Mu sister. Her positive outlook on life made her such a joy to be with. It was a privilege to have known her.

Patricia Perney

March 13, 2020

I Love You, Mother