Mrs. Beulah Grey Marion Perkins of Pilot Mountain, N.C., passed away on Thursday, December 5, 2019 at Ashton Health and Rehabilitation after a long and blessed life. Mrs. Perkins was born on June 1, 1925 in Shoals, NC to the late Newton Claud Marion and Ella Viola Hardy Marion. She grew up in Shoals, part of a close-knit household and community centered around family, church and school. She graduated from Shoals High School and attended Fairview Methodist Church, two places where she found her calling as an educator and church leader. Mrs. Perkins started teaching school immediately after high school graduation due to a teacher shortage during the war years. After the war, she left the family farm to earn a teaching degree at Appalachian State Teachers College, a courageous move for someone who had never been out of Shoals. Graduating from Appalachian in 1949, Mrs. Perkins started her 37 year career in the Surry County School System at Copeland Elementary. She taught and touched the lives of many Eighth Graders before moving onto the next step in her career. Commuting from Copeland to Greensboro at night, she earned her Masters Degree in Guidance at UNC-G, and Mrs. Perkins was hired as the guidance counselor at East Surry in 1965. For the next 22 years, she took an active interest in the future of every student at East Surry, helping many to attend college when that career path appeared impossible. Mrs. Perkins uncovered scholarships, obtained financial aid and swayed many college admissions directors on behalf of East Surry students. She also managed the consolidation of students from the segregated high schools in the district, a significant moment in the 20th Century. Mrs. Perkins loved education and identified as an educator until the very end, sharing her experiences enthusiastically. Her love of education was best exemplified by the 48 years of commitment and service to the Alpha Theta Chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma International Teachers Society. Mrs. Perkins was preceded in death by the love of her life, Mr. Carroll Lee Perkins. Married in 1948, they shared 63 wonderful years as parents, educators and church leaders. The couple loved Whitaker’s Chapel United Methodist Church where Mrs. Perkins served in many capacities including choir member, Sunday School Superintendent, Sunday School teacher, United Methodist Women President and accredited Lay Speaker for the United Methodist Church. After retirement, they used their love of travel to reach beyond US borders as participants on missionary work teams to impoverished areas in Latin America. Mrs. Perkins was known for her work in education and community service, but she may be best known as the “Green Bean Queen” because of her love of gardening. She was a prolific lifelong gardener and often snickered about her love of feeling the dirt between her toes and fingers. Mrs. Beulah Grey Marion Perkins was loved and respected by students, peers, family and friends. She will be sorely missed by all, but the fond memories will remain. She is survived by four children: Carroll G. Perkins of Oviedo, FL, Brent L. Perkins of Sunset Beach, NC, Susan E. Perkins of Burlington, NC and Mark A. Perkins of Winston-Salem, NC; four grandchildren: Brian, Leigh Ann, Chris and Lance; two great-grandchildren: Isabella and Abigail; one sister, Hazel Tucker and one brother, Wilbur Marion (Sue); and one brother-in-law, Robert “Bob” Perkins (Shirley) and many special nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years Carroll Lee Perkins; her parents, Newton Claud and Ella Viola Hardy Marion; two brothers, Claude Burton Marion and infant Tony Marion; one sister, Nancy Marion Dezern and many dear sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law. The family will receive visitors at the Cox-Needham Funeral Home on Monday, December 9th, 2019 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, December 10th, 2019 at 11:00 AM at Whitakers Chapel United Methodist Church, Pilot Mountain, NC with the Reverend Sue Anne Morris and the Reverend Joseph Fulk III presiding over the service. Interment will be held at the church cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Carroll L. Perkins and Beulah M. Perkins Scholarship fund at Surry Community College, c/o Marion Venable, 620 South Main Street, Dobson, NC 27017 or to Whitaker's Chapel United Methodist Church, c/o Spencer Flinchum, 654 Whitaker's Church Road, Pilot Mountain, NC 27041. Cox-Needham Funeral Home of Pilot Mountain (www.coxneedham.com, www.facebook.com/coxneedham is respectfully serving the Perkins family.)
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