Jacklyn Mitchell Reinhardt Perry… She is also known as Aunt Jackie to some of us. I have nick-named her “Big Jack”, and I still do not know why I’ve nick-named her as such for she is a small woman. This is the name that we hardly hear in our family nowadays for she has been taken from our lives in January 5, 1985. It has been very difficult for many of us to talk or write about her. So there is one thing that is very prominent about her life, and they are owls. She loves owls. She collects anything in the form of owls. Some of them are large and some of them are small. Some of them are beautiful and some of them are not so beautiful. She breathes anything of owls. Not one conversation goes by without mentioning a word “owl” in her vocabulary. And, yes, she even has a pet owl just before she has passed on.
She is born in February 18, 1948. She was only 36 years old when she was killed in the hit-and-run vehicular accident on the busy highway in Deland. That highway was as known as North Woodland Boulevard during the late night while she was walking across the highway from the motel near the Kentucky Fried Chicken fast food restaurant.
The last place that she had worked was International House of Pancakes (IHOP). My grandmother, Penny, has not been able to bring herself to go to IHOP for 8 long years because that was the very last place that she has seen her daughter, Jackie, alive and well. She is also the youngest of five children.
She has such a wonderful personality and she is a sweet and gullible woman. She is the kind of woman who can just sit with you and just listens. She is the kind of woman who has the care-free personality. She doesn’t hold grudges or be angry long.
She has a difficult childhood as she grew up along with her older sisters and a brother. The family has gone through many trials throughout their childhood. So Jackie, I believe, has done her best to grow and learn. There is not much of her childhood that I can gather. So this is all I know.
She has married Mike Reinhardt and had a child together named Melissa. Melissa was born in February 24, 1968. Their marriage did not last long and they divorced in 1972(?).
Then, she has married another man named, Jim. I have forgotten what his last name was. That marriage unfortunately did not last long either. It was about only three short weeks. I think that happened in 1974(?).
Then, her fourth marriage was to David Perry. He is the temperamental man to contend with. He gets belligerent when he drinks, but he is the nice guy when he was sober. I believe that their marriage didn’t last till 1978 or so. I have no idea how bad these marriages were till I began to remember things.
So Jackie has remained divorced ever since.
Jackie has developed the drinking problem when she was pretty young, probably in her early 20’s since I knew very little of her alcoholism till she came to live with us in Tampa, Florida in 1973. I didn’t realize that her alcoholism has become paramount in her life until I was old enough to understand the affect that alcohol has on people. At one time or another, she would disappear to the bars somewhere in town to get a drink or two. Like I said, “She was a gullible person”. She would be around a lot of folks who would drink with her. I can remember that she has been in a lot of bad relationships with men in general. Things have gone from bad to worse as the time progresses.
She has hit rock-bottom one day when she has realized that she was in such a bad shape alone in an apartment. She used to go from one drinking binge after another. She had picked up the phone and called her mother to ask for help. She has realized how much that alcoholism has caused so much trouble. She was alone and scared.
Then, she was taken to the Stewart Treatment Center for Drug and Alcohol, which is now known as Stewart-Markmann-Act Behavioral. So that was when she began to turn her life around. That was in January of 1984. Jackie has diligently gone through the treatment processes and therapies in order to learn of her dependence on alcohol. She was in such a vulnerable shape and she is learning how to cope with being a recovering alcoholic. She has done very well throughout the treatment and she was slowly recovering from the harmful effects of alcoholism. When she has completed her intensive treatment program; she was moved to the halfway house and she was given a waitressing job at IHOP. Even since, Jackie has worked so hard at IHOP in Deland, Florida. She has been diligent in saving her money for an apartment and being able to live as normally as possible as a recovering alcoholic. It is a life-long process. She was much happier and she has her dental work done which was caused by the effects of alcohol. She is smiling more and she was beginning to have new friends. Her daughter, Melissa, was so happy to have her mom back as well.
Jackie has found an injured baby owl one day and she decided to take it home with her so that she can take care of and raise it as her own. She has researched and learned enough about the care of the baby owl and learning how the owls live.
Then, her life was cut short one night in January of 1985 when a car was speeding along the Woodland Boulevard. The car hit her and dragged her about 80 feet along the highway till the driver realized that she had hit someone.
Perhaps; there is something beautiful out of this tragedy. Aunt Jackie has accepted Messiah Yeshua as her King. So there is “Beauty For Ashes”.
Yes, she was known as an owl lady. She loves owls and she talks about the owls. Whenever I’ve looked at the pictures of the owls, or watch any videos of owls; I would think of Aunt Jackie. She has been and will always be known as an Owl Lady.