John Killebrew Perry passed away on Friday, November 25, 2022, at the age of 84. He is predeceased by his father, Thomas Moore Perry, and his mother, Lillie Viola Killebrew Perry, of Goodman, Mississippi and his daughter, Treva Suzanne Perry.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Betty Gillespie Perry. They were married in Tchula, Mississippi on September 4, 1960. He is lovingly remembered by his two children, Robert Moore Perry (Ginger) of Winona, John Killebrew Perry, Jr., MD, of Erie, Pennsylvania; three grandchildren, Megan Laurel Perry, Robert Moore Perry, Jr. (Taylor), Erin Virginia Perry; god-child, Brandi; brother, Thomas Moore Perry, Jr. (Jude) of Kerrville, Texas; and a host of nieces and nephews.
Dr. Perry was born in Lexington, Mississippi on July 21, 1938, and raised in Goodman, Mississippi. He accepted Jesus Christ at an early age and began to pursue his educational goals. He attended and graduated from Columbia Military Academy in Columbia, Tennessee, as a Lieutenant Colonel with scholar awards and numerous other achievements. He next attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and transferred to Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi after meeting his soul mate, Betty Gillespie. He graduated from Millsaps College with a major in chemistry and there also completed his Master’s Degrees in chemistry and physics. After a brief period, he completed his doctorate in Secondary Education from Mississippi State University. He believed he had achieved his educational goals and enjoyed imparting knowledge. Dr. Perry was a science teacher in many biological sciences, including chemistry, and physics, at Winona High School, and at Kirk Academy where he was named Teacher of the Year, and Winona Christian School. Through his years of teaching, he was awarded Star Teacher seven times, promoted to jr. high principal, high school principal, and assistant superintendent through which he perfected his gift of school administration.
His community involvement ranged from being a Gideon, active member of the Masonic Lodge, Royal Arch Masons, St. Cyr Commandry, Knight’s Templar, Wahabi Shrine, king of the local Junior Auxiliary Ball, Montgomery County Educational Award, Sunday School Teacher and Life Deacon, at First Baptist Church of Winona. He was an avid lover of locomotive trains and built numerous props and platforms for his enjoyment. Generations will always remember his “teachable moments” when they were in his presence and with his words through the intercom every Friday at the end of the school day, “…And don’t forget to go to Sunday School and church on Sunday.” Through many successful years of school administration and teaching, Dr. Perry will be remembered as a noble man and a perfectionist. He was a high achiever, and his expectations were demonstrated through his children of whom he was proudest of each of their career accomplishments.
The visitation will be held at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center in Winona, Mississippi on Wednesday, November 30, 2022, from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., and Thursday, December 1, 2022, from 1:00 p.m. until the 2:00 p.m. funeral service in the church sanctuary. Bro. Jay Anderson, pastor and Robert M. Perry officiating. Burial will be at the Itta Bena Cemetery in Itta Bena, Mississippi. Pallbearers will be Dave Pratt, George Gillespie, Jr., Alex Gillespie, Robert Moore Perry, Jr., Dr. Keith Rushing, and Thomas Moore Perry III. Honorary pallbearers will be Deacon Body Past and Present of First Baptist Church of Winona.
Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 408, Winona, Mississippi 38967.
Services will be live streamed via First Baptist Church Facebook Live Thursday, December 1, at 2:00 p.m.