REMEMBERING FREDA SHARON PEREL
February 19, 1957 - February 1, 2011
In Hebrew, the name Sharon translates to "Shayna," meaning "beautiful," and so it is fitting that this name graced a spirit as warm and caring as Freda Sharon Perel - Sharon to the many who knew and loved her. Her gifts were numerous and prodigious, and at the heart of each and every one of them was a capacity to take the ordinary, pedestrian, and raise it up so that it transcended the commonplace to become something truly beautiful.
From an early age, her talents for music and the arts stirred her imagination and found expression in piano and voice and dance, capturing our hearts while she grew to become an accomplished artist. Sharon started taking piano lessons at the age of six and within a few short years was interpreting the classical masters with skill and grace and soon was even composing pieces of her own. Performing arias for family and friends, it was obvious that Sharon's natural gifts belied her young age as her vocal prowess touched all listeners. Later in life, she would add guitar to her repertoire and adapt her talents to popular music. A highlight of her artistic career was "The Beauty That Never Lies", a production she composed, performed and choreographed for the Vancouver East Cultural Centre. By all accounts, a captivating performance for the many who attended.
Sharon's love of knowledge and learning saw her excel in her studies. She attended Talmud Torah School to grade nine and, qualifying to move up a grade, advanced directly into grade eleven at Eric Hamber Secondary School, where she was asked to help teach piano and dance to the younger students while she finished her studies. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Mills College before going on to complete a Master's in Clinical Psychology at the University of San Francisco. She completed her practicum under Dr. Lewis Mehl at Stanford university.
As vital to Sharon as her love of the arts and learning was her dedication to Jewish faith and traditions. She always found comfort in the wisdom of the Torah and loved to quote from the sacred text, often integrating its teachings into her day-to-day life and transforming ordinary moments into gems of teaching for those around her. When she was 11 years old she persuaded her parents to keep a kosher home and a year later she became the first girl to have a Bat Mitzvah at Schara Tzedeck Synagogue. And while it may have been her father who conducted Passover Seders at the household, it was Sharon who decided which passages would be read or corrected him when he made a mistake, and who provided many of the melodies that were sung.
Nothing gave Sharon more joy than to care for others. Whether it was her close loved ones or the city's homeless, her concern for their well-being was true and deep and she shared her time and compassion selflessly to raise their spirits. Her capacity to see joy and happiness in life was infectious and she used this vision to make those around her smile or laugh as they saw the good in life.
Sharon left this world far too early but the lives of those she touched on her short journey here are richer for having known her and loved her. We will miss her spiritual beauty, her zest and enthusiasm for life, her unselfish giving to others. And though she may no longer be here with us, the gifts of music that she so passionately shared with us in life will continue to echo throughout our hearts in her memory.
Freda Sharon Perel is survived by her mother, Renia Perel, her husband Lawrence, and the many members of her extended family and friends. She would have celebrated her 54th birthday on February 19 2011.
The family wishes to recognize and thank those who helped to ease the pain of this difficult time: Rabbi Andrew Rosenblatt for his service and touching eulogy; Rabbi Michael Nadata and Baritone Mark Fenster for their sublime voices in music; Dr. Ted Wormelli for sharing his of remembrance of Sharon; the Reverend Joseph Marciano of Chevra Kadisha for a burial procession of dignity; Mike Zoosman and all the family and friends who attended. A recording of the funeral service is available by donation to Schara Tzedeck Synagogue.
MOISHE (MORRIS) PEREL of blessed memory - לזכרו של משה פרל
M.R.I. (Mlawa Remembrance Initiative) originally posted in May 1998!
Last updated December 27th, 2011