John McClellon Perry, retired school administrator for Southampton County schools, passed to another life on April 1, 2011.
Mr. Perry was born in Almo, Kentucky on February 16, 1927 to the late Arthur and Alynda Perry. He was from a family of nine sisters and brothers. His brothers, who have pre-deceased him, are as follows: Jewell, Ottie, Fred, Paul, and Doc. His sisters, who also pre-deceased him, are: Juanita, Nettie Mae, and Clara Bell. He leaves to cherish his memory a host of nephews and nieces. Mr. Perry also leaves behind his adopted family - the Artis’ including Roger Lee Artis, Pattie Lee Turner, Pattie Ann Turner, Ashley Turner, Henry Scott, Williams Artis, Doretha Artis, Cherrelle Artis, Williams Artis Jr., Annie Brown, James Brown, Jr. and James Brown, Sr.
He attended public school in Murray, Kentucky, graduating from Douglas High School in 1945. After graduating from Kentucky State University in 1951, Mr. Perry, attended Indiana University, taking classes in Administration of Interscholastic Athletics and Physical Education Supervision. His first teaching job was in 1956. Located in Tennessee, he was appointed Halls Consolidated High School’s first coach. He coached boys and girls basketball. In the 60s, Mr. Perry went to Farmville, VA to serve as an Assistant Principal, Physical Education Teacher and Coach at Robert R. Morton High School. (Later the school became known as Prince Edward High School.) In 1974, he left Farmville to come to Southampton County to serve as an Assistant Principal, and to coach basketball and baseball. In addition, he had the responsibility of teaching Physical Education and was in charge of the bus fleet. During his tenure with Southampton County, he served as Athletic Director and Driver’s Education lead. In 1975, he received his Master’s Degree from Virginia State University, which is located in Petersburg, VA. Also, Mr. Perry was an officer at Prince Edward County Sheriff’s Department in Farmville, VA. Mr. Perry was a truly a gifted individual and a man of many talents. At an early age, Mr. Perry gave his life to Christ. He was a current member of The Eternal Life Church in Franklin, Virginia under the leadership of Pastor Alvin J. Blow.
At the age of 63, Mr. Perry retired from Southampton County School as an educator; he served 36 years in this capacity. He remained with the County to direct bus operations. However, he later retired again in September 2010 before becoming ill.
Mr. Perry was a member of the Virginia Education Association, the NAACP, and the Baseball Scouts; he was a life-time member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and the Masons. He always said that there were three people he will always be grateful to in Southampton. They are: Mr. J.W. Harville, former Superintendent of Schools, for hiring him; Mr. Bill Wright, former Principal Southampton High School, for accepting him; and Mr. Sam Jones, former Principal at Franklin High School, who first told him about the job opportunity with Southampton County.
His ability to interact with all segments of the community made Mr. Perry one of the most prominent citizens of the Franklin/Southampton community. Students were always treated with a high degree of fairness concern; these facts made him a popular administrator. As a coach, he made teams winners, when his team of talented youth appeared to be less talented than the opponents. His generosity to anyone in need was legend. In the eyes of Mr. Perry, there was no place like Southampton County to live and work. Mr. Perry – a man of vision, strength and compassion…he will be greatly missed.
Born: February 16, 1927
Death: April 1, 2011
April 9, 2011, 11:00 AM
Southampton High School
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