McGinnis James Perkins, 79, of Natural Bridge died Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, at his residence on Plank Road.

McGinnis James Perkins, 79, of Natural Bridge died Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, at his residence on Plank Road.

He was born Feb. 19, 1939, in Clintwood, a son of L.D. Perkins and Frances Robinson Perkins.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Walter F. Perkins; nephews James E.  Sperka and Porter Knight; and great-niece Mary Cole Sayre.

Surviving are his wife, Judith Lotts Perkins; children Paige Perkins and John Perkins,  both of Natural Bridge; grandchildren Cole Fitzgerald and Alex Perkins, both of Natural Bridge; five sisters, Frances Hines and Rebecca Jones (Tom), both of Jonesville;  Dorothy Perkins and Gail Sperka (Ernest), both of Natural Bridge; Mary Knight (Jon), Ashland; one brother, Joseph D. Perkins (Jo Anne B.) of Natural Bridge; sister-in-law, Josephine Anne Z. Perkins, Crozet.

Jimmy graduated from Virginia Tech (VPI) in 1964 and taught industrial arts and aerospace classes in Roanoke city schools for 30 years.  After his father’s death he and his brothers continued in earnest the conservation practices on the Plank Road farm and on the Short Hills Mountain property; and for some years drove the Plank Road cattle miles to the top of the mountain for summer pasture, no small feat.  He was a friend to many in state and federal projects including a conservation easement on the farm, fencing, and waterways.  He hunted, managed hunt clubs on Short Hills, and improved the deer herd there through a state program; adept at woodworking, built his house, barns, and building; and ran his mill to saw farm, mountain and neighbor’s logs.  Nor did Jimmy cease during 34 retirement years, cheerfully recruiting his children, grandchildren, kin, friends and neighbors to join in.  He drove the truck for the church’s food bank and stoked and stirred the apple butter.

The family will receive friends Friday, Aug. 10, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Harrison Funeral Home.

A memorial service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, at Beth-Horon United Methodist Church, Natural Bridge Station, by the Rev. Lucy Hughes and the Rev. Thad Decker.

In lieu of flowers, make memorial contribution to Natural Bridge or the Glasgow rescue squads.

Arrangements by Harrison Funeral Home & Crematory.

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