MALZ, Betty E. Perkins Upchurch beloved wife, mother, and grandmother passed away peacefully on Feb. 4, 2012 following a period of declining health. Betty was born on Nov. 6, 1929 in Terre Haute, IN to G. Glenn and Fern R. (Burns) Perkins. Betty attended Otter Creek High School in Terre Haute where she was a proud member of the girls basketball team. Although she was a Hoosier through and through, Betty fell in love with Florida after having lived there through the late 1950s and 1960s. She was able to achieve the dream of moving back to the beautiful Florida coast in 1985 where she settled in Crystal Beach. Betty was a Christian bestselling author of over 10 books and a well-known speaker. Her bestselling books include "My Glimpse of Eternity," "Angels Watching Over Me," and "Prayers That Are Answered." Betty attended Christ Church in Palm Harbor where her father Glenn Perkins was the pastor in the 1960s when the church was named Palm Harbor Assembly of God. In addition to her love of family and faith, she loved playing and watching basketball, collies, cats, horses, MG cars, writing, and the beach. Betty will be lovingly remembered for her spunky personality and love of all things bright and beautiful. A tall and elegant woman, she had a real panache for clothing and jewelry and loved working at a small boutique, Tissy's, in Palm Harbor when she wasn't busy writing or enjoying the beach. A fun loving and outgoing woman, Betty will be missed by those who knew and loved her. She was preceded in death by her first husband, John W. Upchurch, daughter Brenda L. (Upchurch) Smart, parents G. Glenn and Fern R. (Burns) Perkins, and brothers Bobby Gene Perkins, and Donald Perkins. Betty is survived in death by husband, Carl A. Malz of Clearwater; daughter, April Upchurch of Indianapolis, IN; and brothers, Jim (Bobbie) Perkins of Georgetown, TX, Marvin (Sharon) Perkins of Hilliard, FL and Gary (Beverly) Perkins of Montgomery, TX; stepson Carl D. (Diane) Malz of Bardstown, KY; stepdaughters, Carol (Jack) Acuff of Grand Junction, CO, Connie (Charles) Blasdell of Rapid City, SD. She is also survived by many nieces; nephews; grandchildren; and great-grandchildren. A private family viewing will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 8th from 9-9:30 am followed by a public viewing and visitation from 9:30-11 am at the Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park and Funeral Home in Clearwater. The Reverend Karen Siddle will preside over the memorial service, which will begin at 11 am. A graveside service will immediately follow the memorial service. Sylvan Abbey Funeral Home, 727-796-1992. SylvanAbbey.com
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Published in the Tampa Bay Times on Feb. 7, 2012