Mildred Harrell Perry, age 91, of Hertford went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at her home surrounded by her family.
She was born in the Rocky Hock community of Chowan County on November 13, 1928 to Augustus M. and Eunice Bunch Harrell, the sixth of seven children.
In June 1944, she met Robert L. Perry, Jr. and just a month after her sixteenth birthday, on December 9, 1944, she married her “sweetheart” in a home in Perquimans County. She would always laugh and recall that they lived off of less than $100.00 a month and could see the chickens running under the house through the floorboards. They lived simply, loved strong, and kept God in the middle of all things.
In October 1945, while Robert was serving overseas in WWII, their first child, Kay was born. She was followed by Larry in July 1947 and then Ellen, who was born in December 1948 on their fourth wedding anniversary.
Mildred always said, “I had three children under the age of four and when I’d get them all to bed at night, I felt like I was on vacation!” Mike followed in January 1955 and with their family complete, Robert and Mildred settled in South Mills, farming, raising horses, and their children.
For sixty-seven years, you never saw Mildred too far from Robert. They were a team in most everything. They raised their children in the fellowship of Ebenezer Baptist Church and in later years, after they moved to the old Perry home place in Woodville, they joined Woodville Baptist Church, where they remained active, faithful members.
Mildred became known as the “cake lady,” cooking her famous ten-layer and fourteen-layer chocolate cakes, pound cakes, and Apple Jacks to sell.
While members of Woodville Baptist Church, she taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School and was an active member of the Shut-Ins Ministry for thirty-two years. She and Robert lived quietly, tending their garden, their beautiful yard, building Martin bird houses, and camping. They remained involved in their church, their community and found their greatest joy in the growing family.
On March 18, 2012, cancer ended Robert’s life here on earth, but not their strong bond. Lying in the bed beside him, Mildred told him “don’t walk to fast, I’ll catch up soon.” She would spend the next eight years embracing the time spent with her family, enjoying trips to Florida, quilt retreats at the lake, the mountains and anywhere else she could go. She was able to celebrate marriages, graduations, and the birth of another great-grandchild. She also lived through another terrible heartbreak with the death of her daughter, Kay, in 2017. Mildred was blessed with good health up unto the last year of her life.
We are certain her “sweetheart” was waiting for her when she left us on Tuesday.
If your life crossed paths with hers, you were blessed. We will miss our beautiful, spunky “Queenie.” We are certain that she touched more lives than she ever knew and fulfilled the plans God had for her in her ninety-one years. We are who we are because of her love and guidance.
Mildred was preceded in death by her husband, Robert; her daughter Kay; her brother Carey Harrell; and her half-siblings, Lillie Harrell Hunter, Percy Harrell, Walter Harrell, and Jesse Harrell. Surviving are her children, Larry Perry and wife Rita of Maple, Ellen Harris and husband Doug of Elizabeth City, Mike Perry and wife Gale of Old trap; her son-in-law, Ronnie Stallings of Hertford; her brother, Ray Harrell and wife Marci of Camden; six grandchildren, Tim and Kelly Stallings of Elizabeth City, Kim and Greg Jackson of Florida, Brandi and Gerald Jordan of Camden, Lisa and Chip Brock of Florida, Rob and Jennifer Perry of Old Trap, AJ Perry of Old Trap; and ten great grandchildren, Brittany, Spencer, Taylor, Shelby, Wesley, Savannah, Cameron, Makenna, Chloe, and Sadie.
The family would like to thank Dr. Michael Sutton and Staff and Community Hospice, especially Tyler, Brandy, and Mary for their excellent care they provided. The family will have a private graveside funeral service with the Rev. Steve Feehan assisted by the Rev. F. Joe Griffith. Burial will be in New Hollywood Cemetery.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to Community Home Care & Hospice, 1601 North Road Street, Suite B, Elizabeth City, NC 27909. Memorial Chapel, 405 East Church Street, Elizabeth City, NC is serving the Perry family. Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.TwifordFH.com.