Donald Ray Perkinson passed away July 18, 2021. He was 87.
Don was born December 28, 1933, in Meigs County. His family moved to Rhea County when he was a young boy, and he helped his father work their 250+ acres of farmland until he moved to Michigan at the age of 16. After working for a few years in the Battle Creek area, Don enlisted and served in the United States Army stationed at Fort Lewis in Washington State. Upon completion of his service to his country, he returned to Battle Creek and married his wife, Caroline. The couple raised their family in nearby Galesburg, and Don worked his way up to management with Brown Paper Company in Kalamazoo. The family moved to Dayton, TN to take over the family farm in the late 1970s. Like his father before him, he worked as a farmer for many years and drove a school bus (bus #4) for the Rhea County School System. He then worked at Robinson’s Manufacturing and retired from there in 2015. Don was a Mason holding membership in the Bedford Masonic Temple.
Don took great pride in his work ethic and his independence. He enjoyed his family and friends. He was happiest when he was outdoors with a hot cup of coffee and someone to tell stories to. When his wife passed away a few days shy of their 61st wedding anniversary, he faced his remaining years with courage and optimism. He loved life, he enjoyed taking caring of his lawn, and his best days were spent on the farm fixing fences, planting a garden, or cruising around with his grandsons. He was a great source of entertainment for everyone, usually greeting visitors with “Hey, Buddy!” and a huge smile. His hilarious grocery list notes and Snap Chat videos will bring his family joy and laughter for many years. He was the best father and “Papa” in the whole wide world.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, Doyle and Kate Perkinson; his wife of 60 years, Caroline; one daughter, Debra Steel; and one sister, Opal Brockman. He is survived by two daughters: Kim (Robin) Cooley of Dayton and Dona Jordan; one sister, Jamie Sharpe of Chattanooga; grandchildren: Allan (Kelsey) Cooley, Reece Cooley, Evan Megaris, Aaron Jordan, Brooklyn Jordan, Stacy Green, Heather Smith, and David Smith; and several great-grandchildren.
The family is being served by Coulter-Garrison Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at Tuesday, July 20, at 7 PM in the funeral home chapel with Rev. Clyde Fitzgerald officiating.
The family will receive friends prior to the service from 5:30 to 7 PM. He will be laid to rest in a private service with his wife at a later date.
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