Drew, Mississippi native Carolyn Maxwell Perry — known to all who loved her as Calico — passed away at her Atlanta home on January 12, 2021, at age 74, from heart complications.
Calico will be deeply missed by her husband of 24 years, Timothy Sewell Perry, their children, and extended family. She was predeceased by her parents Joseph Lamar Maxwell and Hester Duncan Maxwell. She is survived by her brother Joseph Lamar Maxwell Jr. (Lounette), and children Courtney Guyton McBurney (Robert), Katherine Guyton Morgens (Ned), Robert Maxwell Guyton (Tanya), Carolyn Guyton Altman (Parker), Jeffrey Harrington Perry (Elizabeth), and Kevin Blanchard Perry (Nick). Also surviving her are 13 grandchildren: Olivia, Calvin, and Roscoe McBurney; Andrew and James Morgens; Anya and Vlad Guyton; Luke, Jane, George, and Henry Altman; and Ben and Jack Perry.
Calico was born and raised in Drew, where she became an accomplished clarinet and piano player, served as drum majorette of the marching band, and was selected as Homecoming Queen when Archie Manning was on the Drew High football team. Recipient of the prestigious Robert M. Carrier Scholarship, she earned bachelor’s degrees in both music and mathematics from the University of Mississippi. Elected as President of the female student body and Rush Chair of Kappa Kappa Gamma, Calico was one of seven graduating seniors inducted into the University’s Hall of Fame. After graduation, she married and moved to Boston, where she worked for John Hancock, pioneered efforts to obtain maternity benefits, and began raising four children, before relocating to Atlanta in 1979. As the children grew to share her love of music, she became the consummate “drama mama,” never happier than when her children and their wide circle of friends gathered around her piano to sing. She devoted countless hours to volunteer efforts supporting their education, ultimately serving as the President of the Parents Association of Westminster Schools (PAWS). She studied accounting at Oglethorpe University and passed the CPA exam in 1994, after which she conducted volunteer accounting work in addition to continuing broad civic engagement and service on several non-profit boards.
In 1996, Calico married lawyer Tim Perry, and the two gracefully blended their six children and four dogs into a lively and loving family. Together, Calico and Tim traveled the world and built a warm and welcoming home, always with an open door. They spent many blessed weekends with children and grandchildren at their mountain home in Highlands, North Carolina, on the banks of a creek with a rushing waterfall. Calico and Tim became active members of Atlanta’s Trinity Presbyterian Church, where Calico was an elder and a member of the Counseling and Enrichment Committee, served on the board of the Trinity Early Learning Center, and represented Trinity at quarterly Presbytery meetings. In recent years, Calico led the Stephen Ministers at Trinity, an organization of church volunteers called to serve God and love others in their time of need, a mission she embodied in every aspect of her life, loving others by listening to their stories, encouraging them with hopeful assurance, and sharing her exuberant and loving presence.
With children and grandchildren spread coast to coast, enjoying a wide array of passions, interests, and talents, Calico embraced and adored them all, delighting in every milestone, musical or theatrical performance, and baseball game. She amazed her grandchildren with her affinity for numbers and mathematics, which she passed on to many of them, and she stayed active and fit through regular exercise with friends, recently demonstrating that she could still wear her high school drum majorette uniform!
A small memorial service for family members will be held at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, with Calico’s dear friends welcomed to join the service remotely online, in the interest of safety and in accordance with church requirements. Details on the arrangements and donations in lieu of flowers will be available online through Atlanta funeral home H.M. Patterson & Son – Oglethorpe Hill Chapel, 404-261-3510.