The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

September 27, 2013



TARBORO — TARBORO — James Elbert Wood, 55, passed away on Tuesday, September 24 at Vidant Hospice Center in Greenville. James was born on November 12, 1957 in Tarboro, the son of Delia Wood and Willie Clifton Collins.  

As a young child, James joined Eastern Star Baptist Church under the pastorship of Reverend L.  J. Morris.   James was a 1976 Honor Graduate of Tarboro High School, where he was active in a multitude of school activities.  Upon graduation, he was accepted at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, NC as a tuition-funded Cooperative Education student majoring in the field of Mechanical Engineering.  During his college years, he worked cooperatively in the Navy Material Command in Bethesda, MD as an Engineering Intern. After graduating in 1982, James accepted a full-time position as a Mechanical Engineer with the Navy Material Command.  His work career spanned 36 years with the Navy Materiel Command and the Navy Surface Warfare Center.   James was very instrumental in projects involving submarine warfare.  

As an Engineer, he was a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and an active member of Black in Government (BIG), serving a tenure of Treasurer in the BIG Navy Metro Chapter.  James was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

A caring and compassionate person, he was a mentor and friend to many in his employment and community.  Giving was his hallmark; giving so much too so many.

James was preceded in death by his biological father and all of his grandparents. He is survived by his parents, Rayfield and Delia Perkins of Princeville; brothers: Anthony Perkins (Joanne) of Princeville, Kermit Perkins (Lotrala) of Tarboro, Jeffrey Perkins of Tarboro; sisters: Sylvia Perkins Davenport of Rocky Mount, Ruby Perkins of Raleigh, Charita and Valerie Collins of Fort Washington, Md.  An uncle who he declares was “just like a father to him, "Dr. Fred S. Wood, Jr. (Janette) of Greensboro; an aunt, Ruby Wood Williams (Joseph) of Greensboro. Nieces, nephews and cousins that he cherished, mentored, and always offered support to will now carry his “Tuscan.”  Ralph Shaw of Greensboro, and Cynthia Johnson of Charlotte are two close friends who were instrumental in his life also survive him.  Many other relatives and friends will cherish his memory.

A celebration of James’ life will be held on at Eastern Star Baptist Church, 718 East Church Street, Tarboro, at 2 p.m.  Sunday, September 29  with the Rev.  Kelly Andrews, Officiating.  A viewing will be held from 2pm-8pm on Saturday, September 28 at the Hemby-Willoughby Funeral Home.  Interment will be in the Community Cemetery in Princeville, NC.

The family will receive friends at the home, 913 Panola Street, Tarboro.