Mary Perkins ‘Perk’ Brown, 96, progressive educator who worked diligently to promote conservation

Mary Perkins ‘Perk’ Brown

Mary Perkins “Perk” Brown, 96, of Virginia Beach, passed away Sunday, March 8, 2020, at Westminster-Canterbury. She was born Mary Perkins Traugott in Norfolk to the late Albert Maser Traugott and Myrtle Perkins Traugott.

She graduated from Miss Turnbell’s School and Sweet Briar College. Perk was a former member of the Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach and the Monday Club, among various community activities. Additionally, Perk loved Galilee Church, where she served on the vestry and other committees.

As a dedicated elementary school teacher, Perk taught at Everett School and the Virginia Beach School System prior to her 26-year tenure as a second grade teacher of boys at Norfolk Academy. Before class commenced, Perk was renowned for “running her boys” several laps around the playground to better capture their attention in the classroom. She truly appreciated the benefits of exercise for those young boys in order to enhance classroom learning.

As a progressive thinker, Perk recognized the value of practicing conservation early in her life. She worked diligently to promote this awareness to students and family. Many a grandchild remembers admonishment for failing to recycle and conserve to her high standards. Perk also instilled a passion for nature in her grandchildren, as they celebrated each of her birthdays outdoors. On those occasions, out came her whistle and everyone fell in line, whether in canoes or kayaks, nature-walking or bird-watching, rain or shine.

Perk was preceded in death by her sister, Patricia Traugott Rouse, and all but one of her cherished Sisters of Mary. A devoted mother, Perk is survived by her three sons, Townsend (Candy), Timothy (Susie) and Samuel (Amy); nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. The cousins will always remember their Nana, for she loved her grandchildren dearly. The Brown family would like to give special thanks to Cynthia’s care team, the Westminster-Canterbury Hoy nursing staff and their hospice team.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m., Tuesday, March 17, at Galilee Episcopal Church. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the M. Perkins Brown Nature Fund at Norfolk Academy, 1585 Wesleyan Drive, Norfolk, VA 23502; Sweet Briar College, 134 Chapel Road, Sweet Briar, VA 24595; or Galilee Church, 3924 Pacific Ave., Virginia Beach, VA 23451.

Share online condolences with the family at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts.

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