Group Title: Virgin Islands Funeral Memorial Booklets
Title: Funeral Booklet for Carmena Mae Perpener Richards Richards
Full Citation
Permanent Link:
 Material Information
Title: Funeral Booklet for Carmena Mae Perpener Richards Richards
Series Title: Virgin Islands Funeral Memorial Booklets
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Estate of Carmena Mae Perpener Richards Richards
Institute for Museum and Library Services (National Leadership Grant Award, ND-00026) ( Donor )
Subject: Richards, Carmena Mae Perpener
Human relations
Funeral rites and ceremonies
Caribbean   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States Virgin Islands
Abstract: The Enid M. Baa Library of the Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums (DLAM) has acquired an extensive collection of memorial booklets since the early 1970's for U. S. Virgin Islands residents. Booklets are usually more than 10 pages long and give details of the life and family connections of the deceased.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: CA01300395
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of the Virgin Islands
Holding Location: Enid M. Baa Library and Archives, Virgin Islands Department of Libraries, University of the Virgin Islands
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

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9anneena cJ e

& Lerener < card
1939 199.Y

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Ice rm/: <^Severw`r<^mmdl at Waonavy

St. Thomas, VI.

Sarvmenma Mrae 4'p7ener (O a9ara

(9ce1o1er 15, 1939 eplemrer 5, 1993

Carmena was born October 15,
1939, in Terrell, Texas. Her birth-
day gave her two claims to fame.
She was the first grandchild on both
sides of her family and as she jok-
ingly said, when she was born the
first battle of World War II was
fought because her
father, grandfather,
great grandfather
and two uncles all
began fighting for
her affection.
As a young girl
she grew up in an
intellectually stimu-
lating environment.
Her parents were r
among the young
black leaders of the
day. Her father was
the second black to
graduate from the In peace I wi
University of Colo- for you Lord, i
rado who later be-
came the President of Jarvis Chris-
tian College. Her formative years
were filled with music, dance and
exposure to the arts and she kept a
lively interest in those things
throughout her life. While in Merry
High School in Jackson, Tennessee
her competitive spirit blossomed.
She sang her way from one compe-


tition to another, winning as she
went along. At the age of sixteen,
Marian Anderson heard her sing
and wanted to train her but her fa-
ther felt she was too young to leave
Carmena was also active in dra-
matics and was a
member of the de-
bating team. She
was blessed with
'I: the gift of gab and
once spoke her way
-4*R to the state finals in
the Voice of Democ-
racy Speaking
Competition. She
played the violin in
her school orchestra
and was selected as
first chair. During
this period of her
lie and seep; life Carmena devel-
ll keep me safe. oped her leadership
skills. She was ac-
tive in many school organizations
and in her senior year was selected
as homecoming queen. She gradu-
ated from high school in 1957 and
was ranked 4th in a class of 124.
On August 13,1957, she arrived
at Hampton Institute where she was
met by a strange brown, oriental
eyed young man from the Virgin

Islands. He was among a group of
young men assigned to meet and
assist the new students arriving on
her train. That year they formed
the bond that led to their marriage
on August 13, 1961. True to her
style, the nuptial mass atSt. Theresa
Catholic Church in Gladowater,
Texas which united her and John
was an event that caught the atten-
tion of the entire community.
Carmena returned to college that
September to fulfill a promise to her
father to finish her education, but
after a semester, took some time off
to join her husband at Travis Air
Force Base in California. On Au-
gust 20.1965 they moved to St. Tho-
mas and Carmena began her teach-
ing career six days later. Deter-
mined to live up to her promise,
Carmena, John, and their German
shepard "Jail," went to Texas and
she enrolled at Jarvis Christian Col-
lege where her father had recently
been named president of that insti-
tution. She graduated in 1970 and
continued her studies at Plymouth
State College in New Hampshire
where she obtained her Master's
Carmena was special; she was
loving; she was friendly and ever
so talented. She was a gifted musi-
cian. She excelled in dramatics and
had a great voice. She gave of her
talent freely to many friends for spe-
cial occasions. She appeared in con-

certs at the University of the Virgin
Islands with Lawrence Benjamin at
one time and with Dr. Alfred O.
Heath and Verdell Porter at the
Holy Family Church to raise funds
for the purchase of this beautiful
organ to which you are listening.
She loved flowers, gardening and
housekeeping and was a perfect
Carmena never had an idle mo-
ment. She was the first civilian to
be hired as a Family Support Coor-
dinator for the V.I. National Guard
and was past president of the Na-
tional Guard Support Group. She
was past president of the Caribbean
Chorale and the C.A.H.S. Band
Booster's Club; member of the
American Federation of Teachers
and Delta Sigma Theta Society So-
rority. She was a teacher with the
Department of Education but was
forced to retire due to a back injury.
During her recent illness,
Carmena refused to be a burden to
those who loved her and pretended
not to be in pain. Thoughtfully, in
her last days Carmena wrote the
following note, apparently as a fi-
nal farewell to her husband and
daughter and left it in a place where
she was sure it would be found
when plans for her funeral were be-
ing made:
"In peace I will lie down and sleep;
for you Lord, will keep me safe."

(u ivor6
John A. Richards, Jr.
Aisha Richards
Mae Perpener
John Perpener
Alwyn "Lad" Richards
Enrique, Albert, and Alden Richards
Tess Haney, Sally Morton

Enrique Richards, Albert Richards, Alden Richards,
Theodore Rohan, Dr. Sidney Comissiong,
Gilbert Comissiong, Alphonse LaBorde, Jr.

Wtonorarn/ eae6arers
Rudolph Francis, Judge Ishmael Meyers,
Aubrey Johnson, Dr. Alfred O. Heath,
Alwyn "Lad" Richards, Colville Lewis

ad;, of/erice
MUSICAL SELECTIONS ........................ Caribbean Chorale
ORGAN SOLO ................................. Panis Angelicus
ENTRANCE HYMN ........................ I Am the Bread of Life
FIRST READING: Wisdom 3:1-9 ................... Yvonne Freeman
RESPONSORIAL PSALM (Sung) ........... The Lord's My Shepherd
SECOND READING: Romans 6:3-9 ................. Felecita Richards
OFFERTORY HYMN ......................... Heart of Jesus, Hear
SIGN OF PEACE .............................. Bind Us Together
COMMUNION HYMN ......................... He Touched Me
MEDITATION SOLO: The Lord's Prayer ................. Faye Moon
EULOGY ................................... Dr. Alfred O. Heath
SAXOPHONE SOLO: How Great Thou Art .... Alwyn "Lad" Richards
RECESSIONAL HYMN ........................ Just a Closer Walk

In Sympathy .... Founder, Ann Porter and members of Alpha Chi Chapter of
Eta Phi Beta Sorority, mourn the passing of our sister and Charter Member,
Carmena Richards. We extend sincere sympathy to family and friends of
Carmena. May she rest in Jesus.
Elise Vialet
Carmena Different things to different people. To us she was Auntie
Carmena, or Carmena. The lady with a heart of gold and an ever-ready smile.
A lady who opened her home and her heart to us. You will be sorely missed.
Rest in peace our friend, our "Auntie."
Harry, Yvonne and he girls

Never Say Good Bye
We met on this Island by the Sea
A Bond of Friendship developed with you and me
Each with a talent others could not see
Thankful to Our Father that we could always be
A Family of One on this Island by the Sea.

Our Bond of sharing the Good times and Bad
But to always be thankful for whatever we had
We never left one another alone to be sad
Often we joked of putting History on a Pad
Our Motto: Today we Sad but Tomorrow we Glad

From my House to yours a constant sharing
God's word is with us for we are caring
Willing to give, not seeking, but bearing
Love for our families, friends and our foes
The times we said yes, and the wisdom to say no

My Friend our parting was not in our Earthly Plan
You've gone on before me to a wonderful land
We talked of God and things we didn't understand
Thankful for God's blessings as he worked out his Plans
Alway seeking his love and protection as we walked
thru the sand.
Rest in peace in His wonderful hands, Carol Francis

God blesses us with different talents and we who are so blessed must
choose how best to use them. You used your special talent of singing to serve
our community. You sang for social, civic and community functions, and
served as President of the Caribbean Chorale for many years. You brought
joy and pleasure to all those with whom you shared your music and voice.
We will always love you and remember you with a sense of appreciation and
pride for having touched our lives.
A golden voice here silent.
Now the angels' harps accompany you.
O Precious Lord, she in your care,
'Will sing on high your praises there.
Sing on, Carmena, in the arms of the Lord.
The Caribbean Chorale

Our hearts and our minds are right there, along with you, feeling the
heaviness of your loss. We would like to share the following prayer of
Heavenly Father, the death of our Soror has filled our hearts with sorrow.
As your children we want so much to say, "not my will, but thine be done,"
but at times we find it difficult to do. Help us, we pray, to accept your ways as
always best. Teach us not to mourn as those who have no hope. Wipe away
the tears so that we may be able to see beyond the grave, to the resurrection
and life.
May the passing of Carmena remind us that our days are numbered on
earth, and apply our hearts to the wisdom taught by Christ. Soror, you will be
sorely missed.
Sorors of the St. Thomas Alumnae,
Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Carmena Perpener, as she used to say quite briskly was a:
C aring
A dorable
R remarkable
M motivational
E enthusiastic
N notable
A admirable friend.
My visit with her in Washington, D.C. in July, seems like yesterday. Carmena
was her usual self, full of life. We talked about our families, good times we
spent together and those we would have upon her return home. Carmena,

we didn't have a chance to have those good times again, but seeing you in the
way you were, so high in spirit, will always be a lasting memory. We'll
always remember you.
Vernelle and Edouard deLagarde andfamily

Carmena ... As a Lioness, you took an active interest in the civic, cultural,
social and moral welfare of the community. You demonstrated good fellow-
ship and mutual understanding. Your willingness "To Serve" was exemplary
as you worked with us on many projects and activities. Even after you were
no longer with us, especially when we made the transition from Lionesses to
Lions. Your commitment to offer assistance wherever and whenever needed
was greatly admired. May you continue "To Serve" as you rest in peace.
East End Lions Club, Shirley Quetel-Hendricks, President

Carmena .... You made your years at:
E education to your students

B eneficial to students and co-workers
E enjoyable on most days
N urturing to young minds
J justifiably happy
A dmirable to all
M musically spirited
I involved in school activities
N noteworthy with your Carnival Float ideas

0 outstanding in services
L oveable and laughable
I inspirational with your voice
V ocal with union matters
E exciting with your wit and
R emarkably difficult for us to forget the dedication and
commitment you offered during the early years of Emanuel
Benjamin Oliver School.

We will always remember you, E. Benjamin Oliver Faculty and Staff

To the Family of Mrs. Carmena Richards:
We in the Virgin Islands National Guard share your loss with the passing
of Carmena, for she was a staunch supporter of the Guard's family program
and understood its full impact on the organization.
As a military spouse, Carmena was a main catalyst in the development of
TRIVINGA, a volunteer military family support auxiliary which was de-
signed to meet the special needs of VING family members. Later, her belief in
the role of the military family led her to accept the position of Territorial
Family Support Coordinator for the Guard until her resignation in 1991, due
to illness. Carmena was very instrumental in the formation of family support
groups on both St. Thomas and St. Croix which offered tremendous support
and comfort to family members of military personnel serving in Desert Shield
/ Desert Storm. She will be long remembered for the candle-lit ecumenical
services she arranged in the territory's public parks during the Persian Gulf
On behalf of the entire Virgin Islands National Guard and my wife, Elaine,
please accept our heartfelt sympathy in your time of great sorrow. Only those
who have lost a close family member can know the depths of your feelings
and we have indeed lost a close family member. We send you our love to
give you strength to bear your sorrow.
Charles M. Hood, Jr.
Major General, V.I. National Guard. The Adjulant General

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Anan ments by John Thomas Funeral Home
Printed by St Thoman Graphik

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