The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Obituaries Archives

October 18, 2013


TARBORO — TARBORO — Joseph Linward Perry (Joe L.), 89, from Tarboro, passed away to be with his Lord and Savior on October 16, 2013.  Joe was born in Hertford County on December 18, 1923.  He received his Bachelor of Science in Agronomy (Field Crops) from North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering in 1944 and his Masters of Science in Plant Pathology in 1957.  Over his career, Joe was recognized for many outstanding contributions in the field of Entomology.  He retired as Edgecombe County’s Cooperative Extension Service director in 1983.   He continued to work in the Community College system teaching Spanish and working with the Hispanic community.

Joe was married for over 53 years to his wife and best friend, Ann Langley Perry.  They have three daughters, Karen Perry Saunders, Linda Perry Meeks married to Barton Meeks from Raleigh, and Marilyn Perry Senter married to Greg Senter from Asheville.  He was the proud Pop Pop to six grandchildren: Ashley Saunders Tatum, married to Jamie Tatum; Brandon Saunders, Katherine Meeks, Perry Meeks, Stacey Senter and Kari Senter.  He also got to meet and hold his great-grandson, Hudson Tatum.  He was so proud of all of his children, grandchildren and great-grandson.  He is also survived by two sisters, Hazel McPhaul of Raleigh and Naomi Autry of Garner.

Joe was a life member of the Rotary Club of Tarboro and was named District Rotarian of the Year in 2008. He was the President of Rotary from 1983-1984 and served as Secretary for 20 years.  From 2007-2008 he served the International District 7720.  “Service Above Self” is the Rotary motto and Joe practiced this philosophy not only in his service activities in Rotary but through all facets of his life.   

In 2007, Joe Perry was named Tarboro Edgecombe County Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Citizen of the Year. Up until early 2012, he visited the rest homes of Tarboro daily bringing the residents candy and bananas.  He was fondly known as The Candy Man.

Joe was a longtime member of the First Baptist Church in Tarboro.

In addition to his love of family, church and community, Joe was passionate in his support of N.C. State University.

Anyone that spent time with Joe would feel his positive attitude.  One of his favorite sayings (as printed on his post-retirement business cards) was “Smile and the whole world smiles with you; frown and you frown alone”.  An expression that he repeated to his family on most every family occasion was “Every day’s the best day”.  And the amazing part was that he really meant it.

A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in Greenwood Cemetery with the Rev. Eric Crowe officiating. The family will receive friends from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at Carlisle Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the following:

• A Memorial gift may be sent to the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation to benefit the Perry Scholarship Endowment, which will aid a student from Edgecombe County interested in the Agriculture program.  Gifts should be made to NC AG Foundation (with Joe Perry in the memo line) and can be sent to NC State University; Campus Box 7645, Raleigh, NC 27695-7645.

• Donations may also be made to Service League Inpatient Hospice with a note on the memo line in memory of Joe L. Perry.  Donations can be mailed to Vidant Health Medical Center; Service League of Greenville Inpatient Hospice; C/O VHMC Foundation; PO Box 8489; Greenville, NC 27835-8489

Arrangements are by Carlisle Funeral Home, Inc. of Tarboro.

Online condolences may be directed to the family by visiting

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