The Norman Transcript


April 2, 2014

Joan N. Perry

NORMAN — Prominent businesswoman and civic leader Joan N. Perry, 83, died Friday morning, March 28, 2014, in Shawnee.

She was born Jan. 29, 1931, in Amarillo, Texas, to David and Evelyn Hively. She was raised in Heavener, Poteau and Stillwater and graduated from Stillwater High School with honors. She then attended Oklahoma State University.

In 1948, she married William A. Perry in Stillwater. They moved to Tecumseh a few years later, and she went to work for the General Adjustment Bureau. She then began her 23-year career in banking with Federal National Bank, having many positions up to vice president in charge of commercial lending. If she had continued her career with Federal National Bank, she would have become a leading commercial loan officer with one of the nation’s largest banks (BancFirst). She was one of the first female officers in the state of Oklahoma, breaking the glass ceiling for many women to follow. Her greatest joy in banking was seeing that people’s dreams and visions became realities. She was later co-owner of Farmers & Merchants Bank and Tecumseh Insurance Agency.

Outside of banking, she enjoyed music, gardening and snow skiing. She was an avid reader and was known for her culinary skills. Mrs. Perry believed in giving back to her country, state and town and played a key role in many political campaigns and the election process. She was a member of Broadway United Methodist Church, where she sang in the choir and was a parent leader of the Methodist Youth Fellowship. She was an officer in the Legal Secretaries Association and was chosen the county’s Legal Secretary of the Year in the mid-1960s. She was a member of the Oklahoma Bankers Association, the Pottawatomie County Ski Club, the Shawnee Altrusa Club and was a Campfire leader.

She was past president of the Tecumseh Chamber of Commerce and was named the chamber’s Citizen of the Year. She was the longtime chairman of the Tecumseh Industrial Authority and wrote a grant for the city for sidewalk improvements. She also served on the city’s cemetery board. She was a past officer of the Tecumseh Business and Professional Women’s Club.

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