Jim Perkins was born on November 25, 1949, and went to be with the Lord on September 18, 2021, after an arduous and courageous battle with Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), a rare neurological condition. Jim is survived by his loving wife of fifty years, Martha (“Maj”) Perkins who dutifully cared for him and was by his side through every moment of his illness; their sons Ryan (Lisa) and Stephen, grandchildren Eliza and Preston Perkins, his brother Dave Perkins (Sally) and brother-in-law Jerry Horton, as well as several nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Jim grew up in Greenwood, MS, the son of Davis and Maynette Perkins. Jim’s father passed away when Jim was only fourteen years old, and he, his mother and his brother maintained a supportive Christian family unit together. Jim enjoyed all the trappings of a Delta boyhood- riding bikes, neighborhood baseball games and fishing. He was a solid student with a strong aptitude for mathematics, which served him well throughout his academic pursuits and career. At Greenwood High School, where he graduated from the Class of 1967 and was Mr. Greenwood High School, Jim’s passion for Rock ‘n Roll music blossomed, and he formed a garage band, for which he sang lead vocals and played rhythm guitar. Jim went on to Ole Miss (1967-1970), where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and was a proud member of Eta Chapter of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. Later in life, Jim also earned a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Mississippi College. While at Ole Miss, he continued to play live and record music with The Derby Day Band and even had stints with the Gants. Jim met his forever sweetheart, Martha Major, at Ole Miss. They were married April 10, 1971, and have been soulmates and best friends ever since.
Jim touched many lives and made friends everywhere he went. Soon after he and Maj were married, they moved to Port Arthur, TX, where Jim took his first job as a Chemical Engineer with Texaco. In the late 70’s, Jim and Maj settled down in Yazoo City, MS, when he began working for Mississippi Chemical Corporation as an Engineer and rose up the ranks throughout his 40+ year career. Jim and Maj reared their two sons in a loving home, where Jim taught them to enjoy the outdoors, to play sports of all kinds, to love music, as well as the importance of faith and friendships. Jim was a member of the Diaconate and sang (often, solos) in the choir at First Presbyterian Church of Yazoo City. The family moved to Jackson in 1988, and Jim commuted to Yazoo City every day, through the boys’ time in high school. In the late 90’s, Jim and Maj moved to Pascagoula, where they formed dear lifelong friendships with several couples there and were active members of First Presbyterian Church of Pascagoula and Jim served as an officer of the church and sang in the choir. In Pascagoula, Jim managed Mississippi Phosphates Chemical Corporation. After living through Hurricane Katrina, Jim and Maj finally settled in Ridgeland, where Jim became Vice President of Sales for Phosphates Holding Corporation. In retirement, Jim and Maj have been loyal members of Highlands Presbyterian Church in Ridgeland.
Jim Perkins lived life to the fullest, no matter the circumstances. He never missed a chance to offer a smile, a kind or uplifting comment or the opportunity to tell a joke. His greatest joy was found in spending time with his family, especially his faithful wife Maj, and in loving on his boys and their loved ones, as well as his grandchildren, of whom he was so very proud. Jim lived and loved to the best of his ability, until God was ready to call him Home to glory.
Visitation will be from 1:30-2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 21, followed by a Memorial Service at 2:30 p.m., both at Highlands Presbyterian Church, 1160 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland, MS 39157. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Highlands Presbyterian Church.