September 30, 1922-
March 20, 2014
Columbus, GA- Mrs. Margaret Carolyn Hunter Perry passed away at her home Wednesday evening, March 20, 2014. She was ninety-one years old. Born at home at Hunter's Cross Roads, near Columbia, Alabama, she was the eldest child of four from the union of schoolteacher/farmer Elmer Lee with wife Abbie Harris Hunter. It was at the family crossroads store eighteen years later where she would meet the love of her life, a young Tennessean soldier on a two day pass from Camp Benning. Their first official date was stopped short by announcements broadcast through loudspeakers that Japan had bombed Pearl Harbour. Four years later, Margaret was married to Verlin R. Perry and began the life of a career soldier's wife spending fifty-four years with her husband until his death in 1999, raising three children: Carolyn Perry Purgason, Columbus, GA; Cynthia Perry Wankum (Dennis) LaGrange, GA; and, Verlin R. Perry, Jr, (Ginger), Columbus, GA. She had five grandchildren: Perry Purgason (recently deceased) Columbus, GA for which she was a caregiver for twenty-seven years; April Wankum Owens, Bakersfield, CA; Amber Wankum Ketola, Taft, CA; V. Ryan Perry, Atlanta, GA and Meagan L. Perry, Columbus, GA; eleven great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. She was preceded in death by her two brothers, Robert Lee "Buddy" Hunter, Columbia, AL and Henry Hunter, Columbia, AL. She is survived by her sisters: Johnnie Thomas, Echo, AL; and Elmarie Moffett, Westerville, Oh; and many loving cousins and in-laws in Southeast AL and East Tennessee. Margaret's family moved to Columbus in 1955 and she never left. Over the years, hundreds of soldiers stationed at Fort Benning, from raw recruits to Generals, dined at her table and/or bathed in her tub. Not many days passed that she didn't serve a guest (many times unknown to her until moments before) a portion of something she had prepared. She served her community well being actively involved in school events and youth activities while her children were growing up, as well as teaching Sunday School and Children's Church for over twenty five years. In time of someone's need or crisis, "Granny" Perry (as she was forever known after her first grandchild was born) was the first person called for a prayer chain. Margaret was well known for her recipes that she kept in her head and her magnificent home-cooked meals which she would share both generously and graciously. The Perry children were also bringing home schoolmates and friends which were treated to the same hospitality. Her feats of memory were legendary among those that ever met her. Margaret never met a stranger and always made one feel at ease in her presence. To her friends and family she will forever be remembered in the title of the song written about her by her husband, "She's a Flower from the Fields of Alabama."
Visitation for family and friends will be held Sunday afternoon from 3:00 to 5:00pm at Striffler-Hamby Mortuary, 4071 Macon Rd. Memorial graveside services for Mrs. Perry will be conducted at Park Hill Cemetery on Monday, March 24 at 11:00am, Elder Lonnie Atkins, Kingdom Hall of Jehovah Witness officiating. Flowers will be accepted but those so desiring may contribute to Gentiva Hospice, 100 Brookestone Center Parkway, Columbus, GA. Condolences may be expressed at www.shcolumbus.com.
Published in Columbus Ledger-Enquirer on Mar. 23, 2014