Cover photo for Bobby Ray Perkins's Obituary
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1940 Bobby 2024

Bobby Ray Perkins

October 23, 1940 — February 17, 2024

Funeral Services will be held 1:00PM Wednesday 2/21/24 at Oliver Funeral Home Chapel with burial in Fellowship Baptist Church Cemetery in Choctaw County. The Graveside/Committal Services will be held at Oliver Funeral Home Chapel instead of Fellowship Baptist Church Cemetery. Visitation will be 11:00AM until 1:00PM Wednesday 2/21/24 at Oliver Funeral Home. Bobby Ray Perkins, 83, of Mathiston, Mississippi passed away on Saturday, February 11, 2024, at the NMMC Hospice in Tupelo, Mississippi. Bobby was born in Arab, Alabama, on October, 23, 1940, to Clarence and Edith Perkins. He enjoyed a happy childhood surrounded by the beautiful landscapes of the Tennessee River Valley. In school, he excelled both in academics and in sports, lettering in football, baseball, and track. After graduating from Decatur High School, he began undergraduate studies in Bible and history at Clarke College in Newton, Mississippi. The first time Bobby visited Clarke, he brought his pastor with him. One day at noontime, a young student worker was so eager to close the library for lunch that she accidentally locked Bobby’s pastor in the library bathroom. The name of the young library worker was Barbara Jean Weeks, and this chance introduction was to change the rest of Bobby’s life. On December 20, 1959, Bobby and Barbara married, beginning a love story that would last over 64 years.After graduating from Blue Mountain College, Bobby and Barbara embarked upon careers in public education, serving communities in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. After completing a master’s degree in administration from Mississippi State, Bobby moved with Barbara to Mathiston, to take up a new role as principal of the Mathiston Schools. In Mathiston, Bobby became a beloved member of the tight-knit community. He also celebrated two important milestones during those early years in Mathiston. First, he received a doctoral degree in higher education administration from M.S.U. Secondly, and more importantly, he became a father to two boys, Patrick and Perry. In 1980, Bobby was invited by Dr. Felix Sutphin to join the administrative team at Wood Junior College, and it was at Wood that Bobby spent the capstone years of his career, serving in various capacities until his retirement in 2003.Bobby was an avid outdoorsman and private pilot for many years, and, after his retirement, no one ever loved Western movies, Southern Gospel music, and gardening more than he did. He served his community for more than four decades as a volunteer firefighter with the Mathiston Fire Department. He was an active member of the First Baptist Church in Mathiston, where he served variously as a deacon, a Sunday School teacher, a bus driver, and a videographer. Even more importantly, Bobby was a committed follower of Jesus Christ, living out his Christian vocation as a faithful husband, father, friend, mentor, volunteer, and citizen of his beloved community.Bobby is survived by his wife of six decades, Barbara Weeks Perkins; two sons, Patrick (Ezgi) of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and Perry of Mathiston; a beloved sister, Oletta Goodman (Jack) of Decatur, Alabama; and other family and friends too many to be named. He was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Edith Perkins; a sister, Billie Jean Wilkinson (George); and myriads of treasured relatives and relations who enriched his life and memories.A funeral service will be held at the Oliver Funeral Home Chapel in Eupora on Wednesday, February 21, at 1:00 p.m., preceded by a time of visitation from 11:00 a.m. from 1:00 p.m. A private burial will follow later in the day. Bro. Will Livingston, pastor of FBC Mathiston, will officiate both services, assisted by former Mathiston police chief and long-time friend, Bro. Roger Miller. Serving as pallbearers will be Jay Gilliland, Lee Gilliland, Michael Gilliland, Bobby Jackson, Bryan Lankford, Wesley Murphy, Carlton Rowlen, and Marvin Weeks. The Oliver Funeral Home of Eupora will be in charge of all arrangements.In lieu of flowers, the Perkins family has asked that memorial gifts be donated in Bobby’s name to the American Cancer Society. The family would like to extend its heartfelt thanks to the stellar care staff both at the Baptist Cancer Center in Columbus and at the North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo.
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