1. Archive

Eloise Perkins, former teacher

Published Oct. 18, 2005

Eloise Perkins, a schoolteacher for decades and a member of a pioneering family of St. Petersburg educators, died Monday (Oct. 29, 1990) at her home, 531 16th St. S. Her age was not disclosed by her family.

She was the sister of Willie Mae Perkins McMurray, another longtime Pinellas County teacher who died three years ago at age 81.

Miss Perkins and her sister taught with their mother, Mamie, at Jordan Elementary, 2390 Ninth Ave. S, the city's second-oldest school for black students.

Jordan opened in 1926, about eight years after classes for black children began at Davis Elementary. Jordan closed in 1975.

The principal at Jordan was the father of the family, George W. Perkins, for whom Perkins Elementary School is named. At Gibbs High School, where her father was principal later in his career, Miss Perkins taught English. She also was a counselor at Gibbs Junior College.

"She and her sister both were legends in the St. Petersburg community because of the long tenure their father had," said Emanuel Stewart, principal at Jordan Elementary from 1949 to 1958. "Everybody in the community knew them."

Although he taught with Miss Perkins for a relatively short time, Stewart easily recalled her friendly, likable nature.

"I think most people would remember her as a very jovial person," he said. "Even when she got into old age, she liked to do things that would make people laugh and be happy."

Eloise Perkins was born in Gainesville and came here early in her life with her family. After graduating from Clark College, she earned an advanced degree from Boston University.

She was a member of Lakeview Presbyterian Church.

Survivors include seven cousins, Byrdie Collins, West Palm Beach, Dorothy Glover, Clearwater, Gloria Childs, and Joyce Grogan, St. Petersburg, Marguerite Ellason, Tampa, and Roberta McQueen and Lylburn Childs, St. Petersburg.

Friends may call Friday from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Sanchez & Son Funeral Directors, 850 22nd St. S.

A funeral will be Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at Lakeview Presbyterian Church, 1310 22nd Ave. S. The Rev. Earl J. Smith will officiate. Burial will be at All Faiths Memorial Park.

_ Some information in this obituary came from a story by Peggy Peterman in the St. Petersburg Times.