MABLE LAURA PERDUE “BUNNY PERDUE”
MABLE LAURA PERDUE “BUNNY PERDUE”
Mable Laura Perdue (nee: Costa) peacefully entered into rest on Saturday, January 7, 2023, 3:10pm at the age of 102 years.
Born to Antone and Mary deCosta on May 7, 1920 in San Lorenzo, California, Mable and her sister Rose Elizabeth enjoyed living at the 100-acre family ranch. They grew corn, currants, pears and rhubarb to sell and had everything from artichokes to watercress for personal use including loquats, peaches and wine grapes. In addition, they had several chickens, 2 cows, 2 horses, pigs, rabbits and feral cats. With other relatives living nearby, it was a fun place to grow up.
Unfortunately, Antone became very ill and passed away when Mable and Rose were 6 years and 10 years old, respectively. The girls had a six mile round-trip walk to school and for that reason, and the increasing difficulty maintaining the ranch, Mary sold the ranch and moved her girls to San Leandro where they were closer to town and to their new school.
As Mable grew up, she began modeling for local photographers and exhibition ballroom dancing with Gene LaVerne who taught many Hollywood stars, like Jean Harlow, to dance. She won the Miss Oakland contest in the mid 1930’s. After becoming Miss Oakland, her manager took her to Los Angeles for some publicity opportunities including photographs, lunch with Fred MacMurray and dinner with Randolph Scott, which she loved to talk about. She possibly would have stayed longer, but her mom Mary insisted her daughter return home and finish school!
After graduation, Mable worked at H.C. Capwell Company in Oakland in sales and also as an executive secretary. She was asked by the executive staff to be their representative selling War Bonds during WWII. Later, she worked for Kaiser Industries whose headquarters were also in Oakland.
Through another Capwell employee, she was introduced to Alfred Ad Schuster who worked as Chief Auditor for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
While dating, Al thought Mable to be so cute, he nicknamed her Bunny. From then on she was known as Bunny by some family members and most future friends. In June of 1945, they married and set up house in Oakland. In December 1952 they became parents to a baby girl and named her Cheryl Lee, aka Cheri. Two years later, they moved into a larger home in the Montclair District of the Oakland hills.
For several years Bunny chose to stay home and be a great homemaker, wife, and mother. She also loved gardening and trips to the nursery. When Cheryl was older, Bunny continued her career as department manager in the women’s retail clothing industry and modeled for the stores’ clothing lines.
Sadly, in 1965, Bunny and Al divorced and Bunny continued working and caring for Cheryl. Through mutual friends, Bunny was introduced to Fred A Perdue in 1968 and they married in 1969.
Though Fred was the district manager of both American Hoist and Derrick and Biggie Cranes, they enjoyed real estate and bought, remodeled and sold homes around the greater San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area. They were one of the original home flipper couples!!! J
Many years later, Fred passed and Bunny moved to Rancho Murieta California to be by her daughter, Cheryl. She enjoyed community activities with Cheryl and appreciated the beauty and friendships in Rancho Murieta. Soon after, Bunny and Cheryl bought a home together and they took care of each other until Bunny’s passing.
Friends have shared many fond memories of Bunny: (Parts of some quotes have been selected for space control.)
“She always had a smile on her face and such a positive attitude. She was caring, kind and loving… a very genuine and interesting lady. So blessed she was a part of my life and she will be missed by so many.” (DL)
“Bunny always looked like a million dollars. She was intelligent and interesting, a wonderful hostess and cook. She will always have a very special place in my heart and I will never forget her and always love her.” (DS)
“Bunny was always perfectly coiffed and makeup perfectly done. She was so sweet when she would talk about my mother. She loved my dogs and would always want one on her lap. She was always one of my favorite friends. So, now she and my mom can talk about their girls!” (CH)
“Bunny was a gracious hostess with a great sense of style.” (CE)
“I remember her smile, sweet voice and that she was a great cook.” (MS)
Mable (Bunny) is survived by her daughter Cheryl Roberts-Richards; niece, Lori Smith Beal (David); niece, Karen Shumway (David) and family; and Carolyn Richards Tarris.
In lieu of flowers, please support the ASPCA/Memorial Gift. Please check their website details.
Graveside service will be on Friday, February 24, 2023 starting at 10:30am at the St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Cemetery, 15237 Jackson Hwy, Rancho Murieta. It is a rural cemetery, so please wear sensible shoes. A Celebration of Life will follow at Rancho Murieta Country Club inside the North gate at 7000 Alameda Drive, Rancho Murieta immediately following the service.