March 18, 1915 — Aug. 31, 2013
ST. JOSEPH — Gladys Pearl (Bilton) Perkins, 98, of St. Joseph, beloved daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, passed into eternal life on Saturday, August 31, 2013.
Celebration of Life Services will be held 11:00 A.M. Thursday, September 5, 2013 at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph with Rev. Terrill Schneider officiating. Burial will follow at Crystal Springs Cemetery in Benton Harbor. Friends may visit with the family from 2:00 P.M. until 4:00 P.M. or 6:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to Hospice at Home or Scottdale United Methodist Church. Those wishing to sign Gladys' Memory Book online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.
Gladys was born in Florence Township, Ohio to John Arthur and Pearl Elizabeth (Joyce) Bilton on March 18, 1915, the fourth of their nine children. She attended school and graduated from Norwalk Ohio High School in 1934, and attended Bowling Green State University and received her teaching certificate in 1936. Gladys went on to teach in a one room school for seven years. She resumed her education later and attended Western Michigan University receiving her BA in education in 1964.
Gladys married Louis William Perkins on February 14, 1942, prior to Louis' service in the United States Army during WWII.
Gladys' career resumed in teaching for the Benton Harbor school system as a first-grade teacher at Fair Plain East school for 27 years, retiring in 1978. She taught several generations of families. Upon retirement, she continued giving of herself by volunteering with various organizations -- The Red Cross, Mercy Hospital and then with Lakeland Hospital. Gladys was a very active member of the Peace Temple United Methodist Church in Benton Harbor. She belonged to several adult groups which oversaw both the Soup Kitchen and "Second Best" sale of apparel and home furnishings.
Gladys enjoyed traveling with friends in the United States, Canada and St. Lucia. She most enjoyed the travel to Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia.
Gladys was preceded in death by a daughter Linda Kaye, her husband Louis, her parents, two sisters-Marion (Elwin) Myers, Hazel (Alan) Smith, three brothers Floyd (Marjorie) Bilton, Darrell (Shirley) Bilton, Harry (Anne) Bilton and daughter-in-law Kathy (Donald) Perkins.
Gladys will be greatly missed by her children-Carolyn (Crag) Bush, Donald L. Perkins, Ronald W. (Peggy) Perkins; grandchildren-Cindy (Brian) Stauffer, Chad Bush, Curt (Aaran Bush) Bush, Amy (Ryan) Blackburn, Kyle (Jenna) Perkins, Jacob (Sheila Snyder) Perkins, Joshua (Monica) Perkins, Lori (Shawn) Huff; eleven great-grandchildren; and siblings, DeLaurice (Frank) Cooke, Eugene (Norma) Bilton and Arlyse (Kenneth) Bricker; along with many nieces and nephews.