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California Genealogy and History Archives


San Bernardino County


Dorothy “Pauline” Perna

Dorothy “Pauline” Perna

passed away on March 15, 2011, at Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

She was born in Purman, Mo., on July 20, 1935, the fifth of seven children of Ella Holland and Henry Helms. For most of her childhood, the family lived and worked on a small farm in nearby Doniphan. In 1958, Dorothy married Louis Perna and the two quickly began a family of their own. In 1964, the couple packed up their belongings, and their four children (they would later add one more), and struck out for California in search of greater opportunities.

Settling in Sherman Oaks, Dorothy continued to expand her horizons while remaining 
completely devoted to her family. She relished a challenge and was always eager to try new things whether that meant taking auto shop courses so she could fix her car; buying a motorcycle before she even learned how to ride one, or by building her dream cabin in Big Bear with her own two hands. Dorothy embraced life and lived it with a passion and fervently believed she could achieve anything she set her mind to. But more importantly, she had a heart of pure gold and spend much of her time helping others. Our Dorothy was truly a gem.

She is survived by her brother Duluth “Doug” Helms of Doniphan, Mo., sister Laverne Parrish of Jonesboro, Ark., daughters Robin (Scott), Cecilia (Peter), Taryn (Rick), Twila, and her son Joel (Mahnaz); granddaughters: Savannah, Chelsi, Sierra, Emma, Anaya, and Kaitlin.

Memorial planned for July; for info call Robin at (559) 310-0186 or email; 

"Big Bear Grizzly" Posted: March 30, 2011 - 9:18 am 
Submitted by: Peggy Hooper