Cover photo for Mary T. Perkins's Obituary
Mary T. Perkins Profile Photo
1932 Mary Perkins 2023

Mary T. Perkins

January 26, 1932 — April 19, 2023

Belmont, MA

Mrs. Mary T. (Tannian) Perkins, of Belmont, died Wednesday, April 19, 2023 at Life Care Center of Acton. She was 91.

Mary was born on January 26, 1932 in Boston, a daughter of the late Irish immigrants John and Marie (Killian) Tannian. Raised in Somerville, she was a graduate of St. Clement High School. Mary had a life-long, close relationship with her two brothers, Francis and Jack. Mary’s children and grandchildren enjoyed Irish story telling at its best when the three gathered to recount the old days in their Somerville neighborhood.

Mary married John E. Perkins on Patriots Day, April 19, 1956 in St. Clement Church in Somerville. Mary and John were longtime residents of Watertown, where they raised four daughters on Palfrey Street. Extended family lived across the street, including Mary’s Mom, Marie Tannian, John’s sister, Roberta, her husband Chester, and their family. Many Sunday dinners were enjoyed by all! Mary was very active in the life of the town. She was a member of the Board of Library Trustees and the Watertown League of Women Voters. She successfully led a grassroots effort to conserve the residential nature of her neighborhood by preventing development of a high rise building complex on Church St.

Mary worked for many years as a telephone operator and later as an office manager for New England Telephone before retiring to devote her time to her love of collectibles. Mary and John were active antique and silver dealers and spent most weekends traveling throughout New England searching for treasures. Their girls remember many family trips to yard sales, estate auctions and antique shops. They also owned a small cottage in Tenants Harbor, Maine where they enjoyed watching their daughters hunting for clams in the tidal basin.

In their retirement, Mary and John purchased a two-family house in Belmont with their daughter Marie, son-in-law Glenn and family. She loved being surrounded by grandchildren and many fun family get-togethers were held in the backyard on Wiley Road. There are great pictures and videos of Mary learning to hula hoop and, later, backyard “cane dancing”.

Mary read the Boston Globe front to back every day and enjoyed discussing the latest news. Although she loved eating out with family and friends, she also enjoyed setting an elegant table for family gatherings.

Mary’s husband, John, died June 18, 2010 and she is predeceased by her brother, Jack (late Alice).

She leaves her children, Beth A Perkins (Jim Peterson) of Westford, Roberta C. Perkins of Greenfield, Marie L. Woods (Glenn) of Belmont and Jean M. Perkins of Rockport; her grandchildren, Kate Malbon, Julia and Mark Peterson, Ryan and Lowell Chumsae, Sarah Woods, Elyse Miller and Mary Doherty; her great-grandchildren, Jaiden, Mariah and Brayden; and her brother, Francis Tannian (Beatrix) as well as many nieces & nephews.

Family and friends will honor and remember Mary's life by gathering to visit at 9 a.m. in The Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main Street (Rte. 20), Waltham on Tuesday, April 25th before leaving in procession to The Church of Saint Luke, 133 Lexington Street, Belmont where her funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Burial will follow in Saint Patrick’s Cemetery in Watertown.
Memorials in her name may be made to Water is Life Kenya, , a non-profit special to Mary and run by her niece, Joyce Tannian.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary T. Perkins, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, April 25, 2023

9:00 - 9:45 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Mass

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

The Church of Saint Luke

132 Lexington St, Belmont, MA 02478

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Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Saint Patrick's Cemetery

999 Belmont St, Watertown, MA 02472

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