By Calvin Petersen
Sister Barbara Perry is the keynote speaker for Night of Nursing, a BYU College of Nursing alumni event taking place in over 40 locations nationwide on March 1, 2018. Get to know Sister Perry before attending with these fun facts about her life:
- Sister Barbara Perry is the wife of the late Elder L. Tom Perry. They met on January 22, were engaged on February 16 and were married on April 28, 1976, in the Salt Lake Temple. Of her, Elder Perry said, “She is devoted to the Lord. As I have the opportunity of kneeling each night and morning with my wife in prayer, I am full of gratitude for the blessing and privilege of having her companionship.” At the time of his passing in 2015, Elder and Sister Perry had been married for 39 years.
- Sister Perry became friends with celebrated LDS painter Minerva Teichert while growing up in Cokeville, Wyoming. Teichert lived on a nearby cattle ranch and asked Barbara and her sister to pose as the central figures for “Moving South,” one of Teichert’s most famous murals. A portrait of Barbara as a young woman, painted by Teichert, hangs today in Sister Perry’s Salt Lake City condo.
- Sister Perry was inspired by her aunt to become a nurse. “She was a nurse and I always admired her,” she says.
- Sister Perry was in the last graduating class of the LDS Hospital School of Nursing in 1955. The Church’s discontinued nursing program transitioned to the establishment of BYU’s College of Nursing program.
- Sister Perry taught associate degree courses at BYU College of Nursing between 1972 and 1976. Some of the courses she taught were med-surg, maternity nursing, post-partem and nursery.
- Sister Perry was honored by the College of Nursing at BYU’s 1999 Homecoming with an Honored Alumni Award. This recognition is given to BYU graduates who have made significant professional contributions in their field. Some of Sister Perry’s professional roles include serving as labor and delivery nurse, head nurse and assistant director of nursing during the 15 years she worked at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City.
- Together with Elder Perry, Sister Perry has 15 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. Before he passed away, Elder Perry said, “Being a grandparent is a wonderful calling! We have the greatest grandchildren. You just can’t believe it!”