Paul was born on December 6, 1962 in Harvard, IL to Louis and Shirley May (nee Dennison) Perona. He passed away peacefully on Friday, October 7, 2022, at the age of 59 in Mesa, AZ at his brother and sister-in-law’s home surrounded by loving family.
Paul was a personality larger than life and all who knew him loved him. Born with Down Syndrome, Paul was presented with many challenges that with the devotion and never-ending love and support of his mother, Shirley, and his grandparents, Nonnie and Pa, he not only overcame, but he thrived. He led a very productive and involved life that included active participation in the life of the First Presbyterian Church of Harvard and over twenty-five years of employment at Walmart as a greeter. Always greeting with a smile (and sometimes a hug) Paul became known to most in Harvard. From a gate at O’Hare airport to a restaurant in Wisconsin we would hear “Hey, Paul – what are you doing here”.
Paul’s passions were church, coasters and Elvis. Paul held many positions at the First Presbyterian Church of Harvard and the pastors and congregation were very supportive of him. He handmade thousands of coasters and you would be hard pressed to find many in Harvard who do not have some. Paul was a HUGE fan of Elvis. For many years you could see him in the Milk Day parade on the Walmart float wearing his Elvis costume and shaking those hips. “Thank you very much”
Paul is survived by his loving mother, Shirley May (nee Dennison) Perona, sister Mary (David) Nelsestuen, sister Lou Ann (Mike) Gordon, brother Mike (Jeannine) Perona, 6 nieces and 1 nephew.
Paul is preceded in death by his father Louis Perona and his maternal grandparents Levi (Link) and Alice (nee Horn) Dennison.
Paul will be deeply missed by those who love him. Paul loved the song “Amazing Grace” (especially when sung by Elvis). One verse reads: “Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, and mortal life shall cease, I shall possess, within the veil, A life of joy and peace.” Rest in Peace Paul J Perona.
There will be a celebration of life at the First Presbyterian Church of Harvard, 7100 Harvard Hills Rd, on Saturday, November 26 with Pastor Claire Brennecka officiating. Visitation will begin at 10:00 am and a service will follow at 12:00 noon. There will be a luncheon at the church following the service. Saunders & McFarlin Funeral Home is assisting the family.
In lieu of flowers please consider a memorial in Paul’s name to the First Presbyterian Church of Harvard for the Deacon’s Fund or Hospice of the Valley |1510 E Flower St | Phoenix, AZ 85014