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PERKINSON, Mary C. Mary Cuddihy Perkinson, "Jo" to family and friends, embraced life with an energy and enthusiasm that often left others breathless. As a young woman she married her beloved Bill and left Hopewell to follow the life of an Air Force wife. She and bill lived in England, Japan, Alaska, and many parts of the United States. When the Air Force sent Bill to Indiana University to finish his degree, she helped him study. She loved learning and excelled at academics so she decided to go to college. As graduation approached, she was notified that she was the valedictorian. Jo began her teaching career in Illinois, and continued teaching in Georgia when Bill retired from the Air Force. She was a creative and talented teacher to both her students and her children and grandchildren. She had a knack for knowing the right thing to say. She would support you in your goals and accomplishments and convince you that you could succeed, even when you did not think you could. She accepted you for who you were and helped you reach her high expectations of you. After her retirement from teaching she became involved in real estate. She took on the project of returning an abused house to its original beauty. Since she would never did anything half way, every member of the family eventually became involved in the project. A visiting college friend of her daughter found himself upside down replacing a toilet. She finished the project and sold the house, but decided never to involve herself in this type of project again, because she was unable to limit her involvement without putting too much into it. Jo and Bill loved to travel and took many trips after their retirement. With Jo's usual enthusiasm, they set out to see everything. Of all the trips they took they were both moved the most by their trip to The Holy Land. After Bill passed away, Jo would decide on the next destination for herself and any family members that were interested. She would make all the arrangements and inform the family of the cost and anyone that was interested could write her a check to join the group. It was a wonderful way to travel. Jo became very involved in a variety of community activities such as St. Thomas the Apostle Church and the Smyrna Library. She also participated in many social activities such as her bridge group, golf partnership, movie group, theater group and her neighborhood birthday group. Jo was a creative seamstress, cook and hostess. She made countless costumes, prom dresses, custom-fitted bridesmaid dresses, drapes, pillows and bedspreads for her children and grandchildren. She loved to try new recipes, especially with her daughter and granddaughters. She loved to plan dinners for friends and gatherings for family. One of her most special events was planning her annual Christmas Party for her family and friends. Everyone waited with excitement to see what the theme would be for that year. Prior years included Noah and his entire Ark, larger than life size Father Christmas and most recently Frosty the Snowman. Jo will be greatly missed by her three children; her son-in-law and daughter-in-law; six grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; brothers; sisters and her many nieces, nephews and many friends. A graveside service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 in Arlington National Cemetery, State Highway, 110 & Memorial Drive, Arlington, Virginia 22201. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Vincent de Paul Society, 4300 King Springs Rd., SE, Smyrna, GA 30082-4214. Condolences may be registered at www.jtmorriss.com.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Apr. 11, 2013
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