Betty Ann Swindell Perkins

Published 6:45 pm Friday, April 7, 2017

Betty Ann Swindell Perkins, a lifelong Washington resident, died peacefully on Wednesday afternoon, April 5, 2017, following a period of declining health. She was eighty-four (84) years of age. She will be remembered for her lifelong dedication and service to her family, church, and the many students she taught during her 38 years teaching in the Washington City Schools.

A celebration of her life will be at 3:00 PM Saturday, April 8, 2017 at the First United Methodist Church, Washington, with Rev. Ken Hall presiding. Burial will follow in Oakdale Cemetery.

Ms. Perkins was born in the “Original” Washington on April 20, 1932, the daughter of Hiram Anthony Swindell Jr. and Elleve Brock Swindell, who preceded her in death. She was also predeceased by her brother, H.A. Swindell III, and her sister Dell Dean Swindell Skinner.

Ms. Perkins graduated from Washington High School in 1950 having played on the Women’s State Basketball Championship team. She attended Meredith College her freshman year, 1950-1951, where she represented the college on the basketball and tennis teams. Thereafter, she transferred to East Carolina Teachers College (now ECU) and completed her undergraduate degree in three years, graduating in August 1953.

Ms. Perkins began her long career in education as a teacher in the Washington City Schools with her first job teaching 35 sixth-graders in August 1953. Over her 38-year career she taught a wide range of courses and grades in the following schools: Old Ford, Harvey Street, John Small, Washington High and P. S. Jones Middle. For sixteen years, she served as Advisor to the Washington High School cheerleaders, who won numerous awards under her leadership.

She was extremely proud to have been a teacher and delighted in her students and their accomplishments. Until the end of her life, she often encountered or heard from former students, who invariably remarked about how much they enjoyed her classes and the impact she made on their lives. She savored these encounters.

A devoted church member, Ms. Perkins was a lifelong member of the First United Methodist Church, where she taught Sunday school and Bible Study and served as Youth Sunday school superintendent. After she retired from teaching in 1994, she devoted much of her time to her passions, playing bridge with her many good friends, reading, getting together with her much loved Swindell cousins and spending time with her daughters and grandchildren. She was very involved in the First United Methodist Church Women’s Sunday School class, where she served as president for many years and the Lucille Carter Church Circle.

Ms. Perkins is survived by her daughters, Dr. Elizabeth P. Boyer and husband Jim, of Anderson, SC and Robin P. Pendergraft and husband Doug of Cary, NC; grandchildren Elleveve B. Donahue (Tim), Caroline B. Ripley (Chris), Madeline B. Pendergraft, and Grant T. Pendergraft; and great-granddaughters Wren and Latham Donahue and Ellis Ripley; grandson Brock Ripley; and brother Edgar Swindell (Jessica Parks).

The family would like to express special thanks to Ms. Perkins’ dear and loyal friend Shirley Rouse and the wonderful staff at Ridgewood Healthcare who provided loving support and care for many years. We are truly grateful for their involvement and friendship.

The family will receive friends on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at 2:00, prior to the service in the First United Methodist Church in Washington.

Donations may be made in Betty Perkins’ memory to the First United Methodist Church, P. O. Box 715, Washington, NC 27889 or to the charity of one’s choice.

You may address condolences to the Perkins family by visiting the Hillside Funeral Services website.

Pallbearers will be: Tim Donahue, Kent Denton, David Duckett, Grant Pendergraft, and Chris Ripley and Clif Williams.

Hillside Funeral Service & Cremations, 4500 Hwy 264 East, Washington, has been given the honor of being entrusted with serving the Perkins family.