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
Oh, Edna. I wish I had read this before you passed away, while I could have asked you a lot of questions about your journey. We always think we have more time than we do. Operation Breakthrough has been so blessed to know you and Bill. You projected pure love and positivity in every meeting, every encounter, and you are such an inspiring role model for our children, especially our girls. You and Bill are beloved at 31st and Troost. Thank you!
So sad to hear that Edna has left this earthly life, but grateful that she will live on in Heaven with Jesus and her family that is there also. She was a great doctor and a wonderful friend. We will miss her….I trained under her at Children’s Mercy Hospital and was fortunate to have such a great mentor and friend. Though I live in Pa we have always kept in touch and I will miss her dearly and her yearly updates about her family
I will always remember Edna from my childhood as being so funny and full of life. As an adult I remember her thoughtfulness and sweet Christmas gifts of jelly or a prayer book sent home with my husband from work through Bill! I’m sad to see her leave this earth but definitely know she is in heaven ! I hope I can be a tiny bit as thoughtful and giving as Edna! May she rest in peace with the angels !
Edna, you were a blessing to our lives. You went out of your way to be involved in Taylor’s and Madison’s medical issues. I can’t thank you enough. You welcomed to Siesta Key all your Aunts and Uncles. You were a truly special, beautiful lady. Your heart was full of life. You have NO idea how many people you helped. You lived a life that the rest of us living can only dream of! RIP Edna. You lived it to your fullest. Heaven just got one of the best!
I love you, Edna. This is a beautiful essay! Please put in a good word for me at the pearly gates. Your earthly presence will be dearly missed, and your spirit continues to grace us all.
Dr Koury, I have a very heavy heart that you have lost your best friend in life. Be assured she will soar high as an Angel of God. My deepest sympathies to you and your family. My Love and Blessings to all of you during this time.
Denise Lugo CT/MR @dic OP
So very sorry for your loss.
I have been a friend of Edna and her wonderful family for 40 years. I always admired Edna for becoming a physician and taking care of all those less fortunate. I remember her interest in public health and her efforts to improve healthcare. Recently Edna helped me with a lecture for a class I am teaching. I am still quoting her. I remember Edna for being fun loving, compassionate, intelligent, and kind. She was a role model to many. I know she is in heaven among the angels! I will miss her!
Dr. Edna will always live in my heart. She shared her faith and So much joy to all of us.
I went to grade school with Edna and we were good friends. She was smart, witty, outgoing and smiled a lot. I remember going to her home once when we worked on a 3-D version of the solar system. We made it out of. paper mache and wire clothes hangers. Her brother Toby helped us a bit. And then sometime later for one of her birthday parties. And she teased me about giving her a board game for her birthday present. We walked home from school together, but she had farther to walk.
She was always someone I admired then and even more so today with the life she led. We saw each other a few times over the past 3 or 4 years at church. And she reminded me of a time she “finally” beat me in a spelling bee. She even remembered the word I got wrong and she got right. So we know she had a competitive streak in her then, but I was unaware of it at the time. We were just kids. But I now wish I could now remember what that word was. I know her Bill and her family will miss her dearly. May God hold her close and grant her eternal joy. And may He comfort her family and bring them blessings of love and sweet memories.
I have known Dr. Perez-Koury for the past 25 years as she often came back to Children’s Mercy for our annual CAPS conference in the Fall. It was always enjoyable to see her walk into the CM Auditorium with that big smile on her face that invariably, put a smile on many other’s faces. We will miss her dearly!