Sunday, November 18, 2007

Angela Perun Passes

A great fighter for human rights and the truth in all matters has passed away.

The Rev. David Leonard told the congregation at First Unitarian Society of Plainfield Sunday that member Angela Perun had died.

A lawyer and chemist, Angela served on the Plainfield City Council from 1978 to 1981 and was a state Assemblywoman from 1982 to 1985. She served on the Plainfield Board of Education for part of a term starting in 1989 and was involved in many community organizations.

She was known to be very outspoken and often made her views known during the portion of the church service known as “Milestones,” where members may speak on important personal events. Hers were most always political.

Angela famously switched parties in 1985. See the New York Times article here.

On Sunday, Rev. Leonard noted the American flag on display in the sanctuary, something Perun had fought for at the church over objections of those who said it should more properly be displayed in the Parish Hall.

Rev. Leonard called her “a good patriot” who believed the flag did not stand for the government, but for “our democratic way of life and for love of the country and the people who live in it.”

Angela was very close to the late City Council President Ray Blanco, who worked on her early campaigns and who was equally passionate about all his causes.

After all her achievements and honors, including being named to the YWCA Academy of Women Achievers, Angela kept up a keen interest in politics and governance. She campaigned last year for a City Council seat.

Though not a good photo, the one above shows her in a typical forceful moment of making a point at a campaign debate. When she had something to say, she said it with all her might. She was a formidable opponent, but more than that, a staunch and tireless advocate for people and causes she believed in. There was only one Angela Perun.
--Bernice Paglia


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