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Barbara Perry
February 15, 1953 – February 21, 2017

Barbara PerryBarbara S. Perry of Hamburg, NY, owner of the Aurora Sewing Center and a leader in the sewing field locally and nationally, died unexpectedly Tuesday in Mercy Hospital at the age of 64.

Born in Buffalo, NY, Barbara (Basile) Perry grew up in Williamsville and graduated from Williamsville South High School.

A seamstress, she was a frequent customer at the Aurora Sewing Center store on Main Street in East Aurora and a close friend of Regis Boire, an employee and the sister of store owner Theresa Findlay.

Findlay hired Barbara to fill in on sales during the weekends, and she was an immediate success. "The first Saturday I worked by myself, I sold a sewing machine," she told an interviewer in 2005.

Barbara along with Ms. Findlay's sister purchased the business in the early 1990s. The store opened a second location on Main Street in Clarence around 1996 and has been a staple in the Bazaar Building at the Erie County Fair for more than 20 years.

Barbara Perry became sole proprietor in 2006. The store has won many awards and has repeatedly ranked among the top BERNINA sewing machine dealers in the nation. Barbara also founded and
led the Aurora Sewing Center Sewing and Embroidery Club, which has more than 300 members.
She hosted numerous sewing expos and events teaching sewing, embroidery, and quilting.

In 2013, she moved to Hamburg after living as an East Aurora area resident for 25 years. She was a member of the East Aurora and Hamburg Chambers of Commerce and a life member of the East Aurora Moose Lodge. She also was a member of the Sewing and Vacuum Trade Association (VDTA•SDTA).

Survivors include her fiance, James Kelleher; son, Scott and daughter, Alyssa McDonell; stepson, Alex Kelleher and stepdaughter, Danielle LeBelle; mother, Sue Basile; sisters Linda Basile-Scurci, Paula Basile, and Elaina Basile; brother, John Basile; and five grandchildren.

Reprinted from SQE Professional, April 2017