The earthly life of Rebecca Ann Perkins (Becky) transitioned to her eternal one on Sunday morning, March 10, at St. Dominic's Hospital. For the past two years, she has resided at the Arbor full care facility of The Orchard, valiantly dealing with complications of a stroke and other critical health issues. Her spirits and determination to resume her active life never wavered, as she found ways to minister to others even in her confinement.
Becky was born in Marianna, Ark. May 5, 1936, to Oscar Leon and Fannye Harding Perkins, residents of Macon, as the first of two daughters. Her love and loyalty to Macon, the Baptist church and community of Concord, were strong and life long, as was her passion for family ties in her large and loving Perkins family.
Becky was the hub around which this ever-expanding family turned and gathered annually at Memorial weekend in April at the Salem Methodist church cemetery. To know Becky was to know her Macon, "W", IBM, EWI, Mustard Seed, and First Baptist Jackson families, where she rendered unconditional service, interest, involvement, and support until her final hour. Upon early retirement from IBM, she extended her interest in children through substitute teaching at Jackson Academy.
A lifelong, ever loyal Bulldog, she held season tickets for football and baseball at MSU and followed both faithfully, expanding her friendship base among fellow fans. Becky was graduated from MSCW (MUW) in 1958 with a degree in business, and memberships in Mortar Board, Jesters and numerous campus and denominational organizations. Her teaching career of several years was spent at Murphy High in Mobile.
Moving to Jackson in 1962, she joined IBM as executive assistant to the local office manager. Every person associated with IBM during her tenure had a personal tie with Becky. Her position there fostered membership in the local chapter of Executive Women International (EWI) which she served tirelessly in multiple positions including president.
Her special heart for young adults with special needs began formally with a group who met weekly at First Baptist Jackson in the early ’60s. Becky volunteered as a Sunday evening leader there for decades. From planting that seed in those lives grew into her initial interest in the establishment of the Mustard Seed daily outreach, homes, and ceramic art studio, that have flourished over the years. In honor of her stellar devotion, "Perkins Pantry" was designated and dedicated recently as a source of food for the two residences of Mustard Seed and housed in the newly opened Boy's home.
First Baptist Jackson was Becky's spiritual home and family for almost 60 years. She was active in Sunday School, mission trips, Women's Ministries, Special Children/Adults programs, all special events, and Sunday worship. Becky was committed to the calling of a servant, as the hands and feet of Jesus. As a friend, Becky was the epitome of loyalty, faithfulness, generously, care-taking with compassion, and never counting the cost. Her hospitality was unrivaled, her unconditional love for family and friends unequaled. Becky made a difference in the lives of others by the way she lived hers. And she finished well, as an example to all. "Welcome home thou good and faithful servant."
Becky is survived by her sister, Frances Perkins Dempsey of Berkeley Springs, W.V.; three nephews: Mark (Lynn) Dempsey of Huntingtown, Md.; Don (Susan) Dempsey of Hanover, Pa., and Michael (Melissa) Dempsey of West Union, S.C.; 10 great-nieces and nephews and 10 great-great-nieces and nephews.
A graveside service will be held at the Salem Cemetery near Macon at 1 p.m., Wednesday, March 13. A Celebration of Life will be held at First Baptist Jackson at a later date.
Memorials may be made to Mustard Seed, 1085 Luckney Rd., Brandon, Miss., 39047; or Special Ministries of First Baptist Church, 431 North State St., Jackson, Miss., 39201.