Johnny Matthew Perkins, Jr., 74, of Watkinsville, went to be with his Heavenly Father on Friday, October 8, 2021. His family is rejoicing for his gain (or as Julie calls it: his "upgrade") and very heartbroken for their loss.
"John," as he liked to be called, was born on March 19,1947 in a small hospital in Emanuel County, GA. His parents, Johnny Sr and Violet also had his younger brother, Nicky Perkins, who was his life long best friend. The boys grew up learning the meaning and value of hard work, ingenuity, sacrifice, as well as the importance of loving their family and neighbors.
In 1970, Johnny graduated from Georgia Southern University with a Bachelor's of Science in Education. During his last quarter in school, he took a theatre class and met the love of his life, Gloria Swann. These creatives had an excellent flair for the dramatic, a real ear for good music, but mostly a strong commitment to each other. They eloped after less than 3 months and celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary in September of this year. He started his work career as a middle school history teacher in Hephzibah, Ga and after enjoying his time there (including becoming an assistant to the school principal), he changed his career path and started working for the State of Georgia, as a Probation and Parole Officer. During his 3 year stint, he earned a Master's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Georgia. John's next 17 years were spent in Tallahassee, Florida as a Federal Probation and Parole Officer for the Northern District of FL, where he also served as President of the Optimist Club and Chairman of the Big Bend Law Enforcement Association for a decade. He was always active in his church and considered himself a "domestic missionary" in his work.
In 1980, John had a lot to get excited about: The GA Bulldawgs won the National Championship and he won the Federal Probation Officer's Ezra Nash Line Officer Award for the Southeastern United States. But best of all was that after 10 years of marriage, he and Gloria welcomed their first child, Julie Rebecca. Three years later, the birth of Johnny "Matthew" Perkins, III made their family complete. These two children brought their father much joy. He always told them how proud he was of each of them and in his humorous fashion, that each was his "favorite daughter" and "favorite son." In 1990, the family moved to Watkinsville, GA, where John finished up his 30 year career in Federal Probation and enjoyed being so close to the North GA mountains for work; in addition to taking fun trips there with his family and friends. After retirement in 2000, a new season of ministry was beginning for John and Gloria. They enjoyed 20 years of sharing the Gospel through song and word by conducting a weekly Sunday service at Lanier Gardens and Magnolia Estates. John believed in the power of prayer and praise. He lifted up so many people to his Heavenly Father daily, asking for the best and faithfully trusting God's timing. John felt very fortunate to spend his last few years with his closely-knit family and often told them that they were his "greatest earthly treasures."
He is survived by his wife, Gloria; daughter Julie; son Matthew and "honorary" daughter Laura; his beautiful granddaughters, Emma and Violet; his brother and "honorary" sister, Nicky and Vicki; his nephew, Nicholas; his niece, Audrey; as well as his beautiful grandnieces, Sarah-Jo, Maddie, Bailey, and Ava.
Private services will be held.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Samaritan's Purse at samaritanspurse.org or PO Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607.
Lord and Stephens Funeral Home, WEST, Watkinsville, GA, is in charge of arrangements. www.lordandstephens.com