Annette Harriet Perrone (Toni to her friends) was born on December 20, 1941 in Chicago, Illinois. As a young girl she learned to play the accordion, winning awards from the Chicago Accordion Center. She was also very involved with swimming lessons and crafts at the local YMCA. During her high school years, she participated in the school band, was a member of the Biology Club and Future Nurses Association. She graduated from Maine Township High School East in Park Ridge, Illinois. She followed her dream of becoming a nurse and continued her education at Columbus Hospital School of Nursing, Chicago, Illinois. On January 16, 1962 she passed the Illinois State Board Exam and became a registered nurse. In 1966 she moved to Riverside, California and worked for the Riverside County Hospital. Early in her nursing career she worked with tuberculosis patients. Annette received specialized training for treating burn patients and was able to assist the doctors in their recovery. In 1967 she was the head nurse of the burn unit at the Los Angeles General Hospital Medical Center. Annette later accepted a position as Assistant Director of Nursing of the Sherman Oaks Hospital, Van Nuys, California. She continued her higher education working on her Master’s Degree in Hospital Administration at the University of California Northridge. Due to a congenital spinal disease and multiple spinal and bladder surgeries, she could no longer work as a nurse.
It was at this time she became passionate about the field of genealogy and decided to write the history of her family, completing two books on her German (maternal) families. After a short time, she began guest-lecturing throughout the United States for many genealogical societies. In 1999 and 2000, Toni received awards as a lecturer at The Federati, on of Eastern European Family History Society International Conventions. She conducted genealogy research for German and Italian clients. Annette served many years volunteering at the Immigrant Genealogical Library, Burbank, California. She also served as a member of the board of directors at the Immigrant Library and was co-founder of the Immigrant Genealogical and the Temecula Genealogical Societies, as well as serving in many other capacities. Annette was a founding member and served as president of the Pomeranian Special Interest Group for 21 years. Recently, the German Interest Group of Inland Valley has relied upon Toni for research and other critical support. She was a member of the San Diego Genealogical Council and a leadership member (on behalf of PSIG) of the International German Genealogical Partnership. Annette especially enjoyed bringing together descendants to explore their Pomeranian ancestry and the region’s history. Donations in her name can be made to the Pomeranian Special Interest Group, 2117 Oakmont Drive, Riviera Beach, FL 33404. Annette is preceded in death by her father Sam Perrone and mother Harriet Perrone.
Toni changed the trajectory of my life for the better. I always had an interest in my German family roots, which advanced after I met Toni. My favorite memory with Toni is attending both the Minnesota and Sacramento Conferences. She introduced me to many knowledgeable people who helped me learn about my German roots. Toni was one of my dear friends, and we enjoyed many lunches together. She holds a special place in my heart. Jennifer Hamilton