Jewell Maher Perry Barker, or “Granny Dool,” as her grandchildren dubbed her, died on July 5, 2022 in Baton Rouge, La. She was 97.
Jewell was born on Oct. 23, 1924 in Meridian, Miss. During her 22-year marriage to Ben Perry, a highly decorated World War II and Korean War pilot and career officer in the U.S. Air Force, she moved 28 times, fulfilling her teenage ambitions of traveling and seeing the world.
Jewell and Ben retired in 1966 to his hometown of Marietta, Ohio, where she remained for several years after his death in 1967. She later moved back to Meridian, where she became a licensed real estate broker and married her second husband, Joe Barker, in 1982. They retired to Sebring, Fla., where he died in 1988.
Jewell then moved to Slidell, La. to be near her son John, daughter-in-law Ileana, and their family. She lived there for 27 years and was active in Christ Episcopal Church, achieved Gold Life Master status in bridge, and traveled widely. When living alone after turning 90 was no longer safe, she moved to Wellfleet to live with her daughter, Candace, and husband Charles.
In Wellfleet, she was active in various bridge groups as well as the Congregational Church craft organization. In 2017, she decided it was time to return to the South and go into assisted living, so she moved to Baton Rouge, La. to be near her son Andrew and his wife, Barbara.
She leaves a legacy of service and activity: as a military wife, Cub Scout and Brownie leader, an American Red Cross “Gray Lady,” a hospice volunteer, AA sponsor, AARP officer, Republican Women’s Club member, and PTA officer. She was featured on a segment of the Rachael Ray Show and is fondly remembered for her years of baking and sending cookies packed in popcorn to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Her creativity was evident in her numerous paintings, her humorous storytelling, and her costume creations. Her love of family was generous and welcoming, and her spirit of giving and loving lives on.
Jewell is survived by her three children and their spouses: Candace Perry and Charles Thibodeau of Wellfleet; John Perry and Dr. Ileana Tandron of Slidell, La.; and Andrew and Barbara Perry of Baton Rouge, La; and by her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and many extended family members.
She was predeceased by her husbands, Lt. Col. (ret.) John Benjamin Perry and Joseph Barker, and by her sister, Peggy Maher Horgan.
Her ashes will be interred in Marietta, Ohio next to her first husband in a private ceremony. In lieu of flowers or donations, the family asks those who knew Jewell-Granny Dool to perform an act of service to others.