Lillie Brown Perry

October 13, 1920December 29, 2018
Play Tribute Movie Play Tribute Movie

Lillie Perry, wife of Greensboro obstetric-gynecologist Dr. H. B. Perry, Jr., died on December 29, 2018, at the age of 98 at Well-Spring Retirement Community, where she had been a long-time resident.

Lillie and H. B. Perry moved to Greensboro in 1953. They were married for 57 years before his death in 2000. They are survived by their four children: Donna, married to Mike Vandiver (of Anderson, SC); Dr. Henry Baker Perry, III, married to Mirlene(of Baltimore); twin daughters Doris, widow of Chip Stam (of Durham, NC) and Susan, married to Scott Lineberry (of Greensboro); eleven grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren; and sisters Ellen Otterbourg and Rebekah Fanelty (both of Charlotte).

Lillie lived a life of selfless devotion to her family, her church, and music. She joyfully served her own family, and opened her heart and home many times to care for extended family members in failing health. In 1956, the Perrys became charter members of Christ United Methodist Church, and she was the church’s first pianist and organist. Her influence helped give importance to the role of music in the life of the church from which the Greensboro community has benefitted.

Lillie was born on October 13, 1920, in Boone, NC, daughter of Rev. O.L. and Clara Dougherty Brown. Her parents served churches in the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. Lillie’s maternal grandmother was especially dear to her: Lillie Shull Dougherty (her namesake). She, her husband D. D. Dougherty, and his brother, B. B. Dougherty, founded what is now Appalachian State University in Boone.

Lillie, one of seven children, graduated from Greensboro College with a bachelor of music at the age of 19 in 1940.

Even as a young girl, Lillie could be found accompanying church services or performing for various community events, including at Appalachian in Boone. After receiving her degree, Lillie taught music at Appalachian State Teacher’s College (as it was called at that time), then one year in North Carolina public schools; and one year at Brevard College. There, she taught piano, led the chorus, and helped with theatrical productions.

Dr. Henry Baker Perry, of Boone, known as both “Johnnie” and “H. B.,” won the heart of Lillie Brown while he was a student at Wake Forest College, though they had known each other growing up because their families were friends and Lillie had spent her summers in Boone. They were married by her father in 1943 at the Boone Methodist Church. Lillie served her husband and young family while he completed his internship and residency training in Baltimore, and while he was away in the Navy during World War II.

After the war ended, Dr. Perry joined his father’s medical practice in Boone. Seven years later ,the family returned to Baltimore, where he finished his specialization in ob/gyn at the University of Maryland. Following this, the Perrys relocated to Greensboro in 1953, where Dr. Perry practiced until 1977. Ten years of semi-retirement were spent in Elkin, NC, with a permanent move back to Greensboro in 1988.

During her many years in Greensboro, Lillie participated in church and community organizations including the Lecture League, United Methodist Women, the Greensboro Medical Auxiliary, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Greensboro Piano Quartet, and Euterpe Music Club. Her family ties to Appalachian State University were an important part of her life.

Beloved by all for her sweet and caring spirit, Lillie was always interested in people, and enjoyed asking questions and learning about the lives of others. At the Well-Spring Retirement Community, she participated in the weekly worship, handbells, and singing group. She enjoyed the many activities, especially music programs and church services. Even at the age of 96, she was playing the piano for family gatherings.

A service for Lillie Perry will be held at Christ Methodist Church on Holden Road Monday, December 31, 2018, at 2 p.m. A family burial service will be held Wednesday, January 2, 2019, at the Mt. Lawn Cemetery, Boone, NC.

The family requests that memorial gifts be sent to the Henry B. and Lillie Perry, Jr. Endowment Fund of Curamericas Global (a community health program for underserved communities in Latin America and Africa) started by her son (318 Millbrook #105, Raleigh, NC 27609), the Music Ministry of Christ Church (410 North Holden Road, Greensboro, NC 27410), or the charity of one’s choice.

Online remembrances may be made through


  • Reverend O.L. and Clara Doughterty Brown, Parents
  • Dr. H.B. Perry Jr., Husband
  • Donna Vandiver and husband Mike, Daughter
  • Dr. Henry Baker Perry and wife Mirlene III, Son
  • Doris Stam, Daughter
  • Chip Stam, Son-in-law
  • Susan Lineberry and husband Scott, Daughter
  • Ellen Otterbourg and Rebekah Fanelty, Sisters
  • Mrs. Perry is also survived by 11 grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren.


  • Funeral Service with Gathering Following Monday, December 31, 2018
  • Graveside Service Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Lillie Brown Perry

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jeanne Rabold

December 30, 2018

Our family lived across the street from the Perry family in Greensboro. I have many good memories from those years. I loved seeing all of the photos. It was delightful to see Mrs. Perry again when my Dad moved to Well-Spring. I loved seeing Mrs. Perry's smile and chatting with her. She was always so gracious and happy to see you. She had a wonderful life and family. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.