Kimberlea Anne (Schipper, Morrell, Perez) Willow

August 2, 1961 ~ January 24, 2018 (age 56)

Kimberlea Anne Willow (Schipper, Morrell, Perez), 56, passed away peacefully at home with her family by her side on January 24, 2018.  She was a beautiful and beloved soul who will be missed by all who had the good fortune to know her.  Kim was predeceased by her brother, William Morrell, and is survived by her wife Nancy, children Dallas Perez (Kristi) and Alexis Yerton (Cameron), grandson Paxton Perez, mother Sandra Morrell, father William Schipper (Linda), step-father Herb Morrell (Shirley), sister Serena McIntyre (Michael), niece Alicia Nelson (Shane), nephew Kyle McIntyre, great-nephew Randall Nelson, and half-siblings Amy, Brian, and Justin Schipper and their families.   Kim grew up in the Norwich area and graduated from South Otselic High School in 1979.  In her younger years, she enjoyed riding, training, and showing horses with a group of people who became life-long friends.  In 1987, Kim married Kevin Perez and celebrated the birth of their son Dallas in 1988 and daughter Alexis in 1993.  She started working at the Norwich City School District in 1988 and retired as the Director of Human Resources in 2012, working in consulting and sales for a short time before finishing her career with Kronos as a project manager.  Throughout her time in Norwich, Kim was involved with the Norwich YMCA in a variety of roles from fitness instructor to board member to volunteer. She fell in love with her best friend, Nancy, and after a civil union and celebration with family and friends in 2002, they married in 2008 and moved to Asheville, NC in 2012.  In Asheville, Kim and Nancy created the Giving Patch, turning their quarter acre city lot into an urban farm and giving away produce, bread, and eggs to their neighbors and friends.  They recently moved back to the Binghamton area to be closer to family.  If there is one word that sums up Kim’s life, it is love. She loved her family and friends with her whole heart. She loved the people she worked with over the years, always making it a point to know the names and faces of every single employee at the school district.  She loved being outdoors – hiking, biking on the tandem, growing food, and spending time in the woods.  She loved being alive.  Kim had a profound impact on so many lives; she will be missed often and remembered always.  Kim’s family would like to thank the many medical professionals and healers who walked with us on this journey as well as our family and friends who never left our side, in person and in spirit.  There will be an informal gathering to remember and celebrate Kim’s life on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at the Norwich YMCA Community Room, 68-70 North Broad St, Norwich.  All are welcome to drop by between the hours of 12 and 4 pm to visit and share with family and friends.  Donations in Kim’s memory may be made to the Norwich Family YMCA, 68-70 North Broad St, Norwich, NY 13815 or the Campaign for Southern Equality, P.O. Box 364, Asheville, NC 28802. 

“To my family and friends, I want you to know how much I love you and how important you are in this world.  I feel so grateful to have spent the last 56 years surrounded by so much love, and I hope that the love we’ve shared over the years will continue to grow and spread into the world through you.  Keep planting the seeds of love and compassion everywhere you go, and appreciate the beauty all around you every day.” – Kim Willow, January 2018

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