In Loving Memory of Jan Perry

February 10, 1928
New Rochelle, NY
May 05, 2020
Southport, CT
Funeral Home

Spear-Miller Funeral Home

39 South Benson Road,
Fairfield CT US 06824


A memorial service celebrating Jan's life will be held at a later date


Family Gathering


Trinity Church Memorial Fund

P.O. Box 500,
Southport CT 06890

Janet Holsten Perry

Janet Holsten Perry, known to all as Jan, passed away peacefully on May 5, 2020. Jan’s vibrant energy rippled throughout her community, touching young and old alike with her cheery smile, dynamic leadership, and tireless work ethic. She believed fiercely in family, volunteerism, and positive attitude. A longtime parishioner of Trinity Episcopal Church of Southport, she co-founded the Trinity Parish Nursery School in 1965 and served on its Board for many years. She also dedicated her service to the Trinity Church Vestry, the Music Committee, the Newcomer Committee and the choir program. Her fastidious organization of the girls’ choir robes was unparalleled. For over 50 years, Jan volunteered at the Fairfield Women’s Exchange in Southport, a gift shop that donates its proceeds to charities benefitting women and children. There, she eagerly guided shoppers, managed the volunteer force, and proudly became its singular computer master. An avid athlete and boisterous cheering section unto herself, Jan was a skilled tennis player and downhill skier, but golf was her real passion. She was the 1968 Club Champion at the Country Club of Fairfield and a driving force behind their successful women’s golf program. The Perry Prize, a season-long championship, was established in honor of her myriad contributions. Jan was also a treasured member of the Women’s Westchester-Fairfield Golf Association for 51 years, where she served on the Board as Print Chair long before the advent of computers. She always channeled her enthusiasm into service, actively participating in several other community organizations including the Fairfield Garden Club and her children’s schools, among which she served on the Board of Choate-Rosemary Hall in 1973.

Jan was born on February 10, 1928 in New Rochelle, NY to Daisy Gower and Richard M. Holsten. She gained her beloved stepfather Ben Dawson at age nine and spent her childhood in New Canaan, CT. She attended The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, NY and Child Education Foundation, an affiliate of Adelphi College, in New York City. She taught second grade at The Day School of the Church of Heavenly Rest, now The Trevor School, on the Upper East Side. In 1951, she married Hoyt O. Perry, Jr. “Hop” and moved to Southport, CT where they raised their six children and became deeply involved in their community.

Jan is survived by five children: David Perry (Betsy) of Southport, Lauren Perry Jones (Britton) of Norwalk CT, Ginny Perry Worcester of Southport, Cyndi Perry of Marina CA, and Deborah Perry of Boston MA, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren who adored their “Dede” for her bright spirit and genuine interest in their lives, as well as several nieces and nephews. Jan was predeceased by her siblings Margaret Dawson Ritchey of Brooklyn NY and Richard M. Holsten, Jr. of Highland Park IL, her husband Hop, and her daughter Susi Perry Nittler of Orinda CA.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift in memory of Jan Perry to the Trinity Church Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 500, Southport CT 06890. A memorial service celebrating Jan’s life will be held at a later date. For information or to sign an online register, please visit

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3 Guestbook Entries for Janet Holsten Perry

  1. Jan’s deep and welcoming smile was always a special gift as were the many years she radiated good will at The Women’s Exchange in Southport. We shared banter whenever we saw each other over half a century. She is greatly missed but her spirit of support for women and children has inspired us all to continue support ourselves.

  2. The courage, tenacity, steadfast devotion to family, gratitude, and positive disposition that Jan exemplified enable me truly to appreciate her energetic ability to balance commitments to family with community service, worship, and recreation. What an active, accomplished, and fulfilling life she led! The familiar togetherness of her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and in-laws is a testament to Jan’s love and encouragement bestowed upon these caring and giving people.

    “The glorious hope revives
    Our courage by the way;
    While each in expectation lives,
    And longs to see the day.”

    –verse from “Blessed Be The Ties That Bind” by John Fawcett

  3. Jan was a mentor to me when we chaired Women’s golf . She knew the rules and encouraged newer players to learn them. She wad always positive and sunny