John “Johnny” Bernard Perkins

Published 8:18 am Monday, January 9, 2023

John “Johnny” Bernard Perkins, 92, of Brookhaven, Mississippi, passed away following a brief illness on January 1, 2023, at home and in the presence of family. He was characteristically stubborn and determined to ring in his final New Years.

Johnny was born on August 15, 1930, in Brookhaven, Mississippi, where he attended Brookhaven High School and met his wife, Margaret Ann Summers, when they were both 16. Together they graduated with the Class of ’48 where Johnny served as both class president and drum major his senior year. After high school, he attended Ole Miss before joining the United States Air Force as a fighter pilot in 1953.

He was awarded his Air Force wings in 1953 and was selected as a F-86 fighter pilot assigned to the 416-fighter interceptor squadron in Moses Lake Washington. He successfully ejected from a F-86 after suffering complete turbine failure in December 1953.

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Johnny returned to Brookhaven in 1956 to work with his father in the family business, John B. Perkins Furniture. At that time, he transferred into the Mississippi Air National Guard as a captain and was an instructor-pilot. In 1968 Johnny joined United Airlines as a DC-6 flight instructor and in 1969, he moved his family to Denver, Colorado. He transferred to the Wyoming National Guard in 1967 and joined CINPAC Joint Base Pearl Harbor in 1987 as a colonel and reserve command duty officer, where he retired in 1990. Johnny also retired from United Airlines in 1990 as the fleet captain of the UA 747 Fleet.

Johnny and Margaret Ann moved back to Brookhaven in 1990 and he began to focus his time and energy to help make Brookhaven the best small town in America. He joined the Airport Board and oversaw an airport expansion, which would draw jet service to the facility. Johnny served on the Mississippi Board of Mental Health from July 2013 through 2019. He was also an active member of the Servitium Club, formerly Kiwanis.

Johnny was passionate about his family, his community, and the State of Mississippi. He was husband, brother, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather to a family who loved and cherished his devotion, support, and leadership.

Johnny was predeceased by his sister, Sally Perkins Brown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Johnny is survived by his wife, Margaret Ann Perkins; brother, James Herring Perkins (Patty); his children, John B. Perkins III (Kelly), Frank M. Perkins and Julia Summers; his grandchildren, Nicholas John Wilkes, Sarah Marshall Perkins, Kathryn-Taylor Parvin, John Bent Perkins, George Hayes Perkins, Rose Ana Summers, and John Kelly Perkins; and his great-grandchildren, Lucy Cecile Ladnier and Brooks Taylor Parvin. He is also survived by his daughter-in-law, Lori Farmer, and grandsons, Drew and Reed Jones.

Visitation will take place on Saturday, January 14, at Riverwood Family Funeral Services from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m., followed by a funeral service at 11:30 a.m. at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Brookhaven Animal Rescue League, Brookhaven.