NEWBURYPORT — Ann Perry (Sager) MacFarlane died on Friday evening, July 16, 2010 after a protracted fight with cancer. She passed away quietly in her home in Ventura, Calif., with family around her. Perry, as she was known, leaves behind a vast legacy of friends and admirers from around the country. She was 63-years-old.
Perry was born on June 17, 1947 in Newburyport, the third and final child of Arthur and Berta (Rogers) Sager, who were both longtime teachers at Governor Dummer Academy (now known as The Governor's Academy) in Byfield. She grew up as a "faculty brat" at Governor Dummer where she established the first of many communities of friends. Perry's mother, a Christian Scientist, died of breast cancer when Perry was 17. By that time her family had moved on from Governor Dummer and was living in Topsfield, where Perry was among the first graduating classes of Masconomet High School.
Next, Perry graduated from Lasell College, in Ashburnham, with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She lived and worked in and around Boston for a while before meeting and marrying Ronald M. MacFarlane, also of Newburyport, in 1970. The couple moved to Kent, Conn. in 1972, where they lived, worked and raised a family over the next 27 years. While in Kent, Perry worked first in the Admissions Office at South Kent School and then in the College Guidance and Admissions Offices at Kent School. She also gave birth to her two children in Kent' Seth Woodbury MacFarlane in 1973 (later the creator of Fox TV's Family Guy, et al.) and Rachael Ann (Laudiero) MacFarlane in 1976 (later a primary voice actress on Fox TV's American Dad).
In 1999, Perry and Ron moved to Ojai, Calif., where Perry continued her outstanding work in independent school administration as an Admissions Officer at the Ojai Valley School. Perry formally retired from the school in June 2009.
Throughout her adult life, Perry traveled extensively in the United States for the independent schools she represented. She and her husband Ron also traveled widely across Europe and the U.S. over those years.
In addition to being skilled in raising house and garden plants, loving to read and write, and cultivating deep friendships wherever she lived, Perry was an inveterate animal lover. Over the course of her life, she raised and adored all manner of both wild and domestic animals. The cremated remains of beloved pets populated her living space to the end.
Perry had a spirit and energy that buoyed both loved ones and strangers alike. To be in her presence was what many said to be the equivalent of a B12 shot. Her vivacious personality was infectious, and she loved life and shoes and handbags too much to be taken so young.
Perry leaves behind her children and husband, one granddaughter, a sister who resides in Maine and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
ARRANGEMENTS: In lieu of flowers, Perry's family urges friends and relatives to make their donations to the Humane Society or ASPCA in her name.