Dr Edna’s Obit from a Retreat at Rockhurst in July 2012
Edna Perez-Koury M.D.,M.P.H.,M.P.A
My goal is to get to heaven. God loves the little children. Perhaps I can slip into heaven because I’m a kid at heart.
Christ was the great Healer. I wanted to be a physician since the day my father died when I was 9 years old. “God does the healing, physicians collect the fees.”
Also I have had multiple surgeries and the Illnesses which have helped me understand and empathize with what the patients were going through. Also my illnesses have stimulated an interest in Health Policy in the USA.
I was born in Hastings Nebraska to poor, uneducated, Mexican, hard working parents who realized the importance of education for their children. I trained at a time when Medicine was more of a “man’s” profession. I was told I was taking a man’s spot when I applied for medical school. I was also told by the older women physicians that I had to be twice as smart and work twice as hard to be considered half as good as the men. I was advised to never let them see you cry. This may have contributed to my fierce independent streak and unshakable determination.
I cared for the underprivileged children of Wyandotte county after training in Pediatrics. I started a clinic for the children of the farm workers in Bonner Springs. I continued to work at the Health Dept. part time after the birth of my second son. It was a compromise to give up being a full time practicing physician, but this allowed me time to take care of my 2 boys, Joe and Michael, and allowed me care for my aging mother.
Later we moved to Minnesota where I worked in a clinic for teens at the Native American reservation school. I worked in Bemidji MN as the only Pediatrician and took care of the children in this rural area. This was facilitated by my husband, Bill, who lent his unwavering support to me in all my endeavors, always helping my light shine a little brighter.
At the end of my career I had privilege of teaching groups of UMKC medical students how to become a physician and take a history and do a physical exam. This completed the “See one, Do one, and Teach one” mantra we were challenged to accomplish as young physicians.
I am most proud of the accomplishments of my two sons who are citizens and still practice their faith.
I have four grandchildren which are such a joy in my life.
I am a member of the St. Francis de Sales Society.
I attend Mass as often as possible. I try to live supernaturally as Sister Magdalene at Sion advised me when I was in high school.
I try to do what God tells me to do and to do His will. “Not my will, but Thine be done”. Frequently I ask myself, “what would Jesus do? What so ever you do to the least of my people, that you do unto me” are guides for my actions.
I have been called a scholar, and I thrive when I am learning and going to school. I would have loved to have fixed the health care system in this country.
I have struggled with weight my whole life, but also tried to walk and be fit, even if fat, as I did not want to be a burden to my children as I aged.
My husband and children will have to deal with all of my collections of dishes, wrapping paper, books, papers and office supplies.
I was not able to practice as long as I wanted, because of the Electronic Medical Record, but I wanted to find a way to continue to serve others by volunteering, reading, travel, listening to friends who needed an “ear” or were lonely. Visiting the sick was part of my retired life.
I have been blessed to live the life I wanted to live and I have no regrets. I will leave this life with great gratitude to God for the multitude of blessings He provided me throughout it.
Dr Edna is survived by her husband Bill, her sister Emeley Gates of Lee’s Summit, her sons, Joe and Mike and her four grandchildren, Jack, Henry, Caroline and James. Preceding her in death were her parents, Joe and Mary, her brothers, Joe and Toby and her sister Blaza.
Services are scheduled for Holy Spirit Church in Lee’s Summit MO on Saturday February 5 with visitation from 9am to 11am followed by the Mass of the Resurrection at 11am.
The family requests no flowers. Please consider a contribution in her name to Operation Breakthrough at 3039 Troost Avenue, Kansas City MO, 64109. Assistance by Funeral Advocates, LLC