Jeanne Louise Perkins, 83, passed away in her home on July 19th, 2020, after resolutely deciding to forego treatment against the insidious cancer found on June 1st, 2020. Shrugging casually, she looked at the oncologist directly and said “I’ve had a good life.”
Jeanne was born April 15th, 1937, to Emily and Claus Buhmann. She was preceded in death by both her mother and father, as well as her sister, Karla Williams; granddaughter, Jennifer Holland; and grandson Grant E. Hunsley Sr. Her sister, Frieda (Leroy) Shupe of Dallas, TX survives.
She could have done anything with her life, but all she ever wanted was to have babies. That she did. She had six children, in fact, and would tell you she loved them most of all. Surviving are Patricia Simpson of La Porte, Bonnie Hunsley of Michigan City, and Dianna Perkins, Tina (Richard) Eliyas, Daniel (Darlene) Perkins, and Rayna Perkins, all of La Porte.
Also surviving are her grandchildren, who all knew her as “Nanny”, Paige (Matt) Garrett, Garrett (Tiffani) Simpson, Caleb Simpson, Carrie (Jeff) Ryan, Amanda (Brian) Simmons, Whitney (Michael) VanAsdall, Corbin, Cameron, and Chloe Perkins, Jessica (Tyler) Poff, Amber Bush, and Cody Lampert. Jeanne also had 18, soon to be 19, great-grandchildren.
Jeanne was a tall woman with a perfect complexion and a glamorous, movie star smile. Her green eyes sparkled under a set of fantastically angled, dark brows. As if that wasn’t enough, she had a confidence you could feel from across the room. If you ever complimented or, perish the thought, insulted her beauty, she would flash her pearly whites, raise her eyebrows quick, and assertively tell you “I’m prettier on accident than most people are on purpose.”.
Jeanne retired from Howmet Casting after working there for many years. She earned the nickname “Mean Jeanne” from her coworkers and proudly lived up to the moniker. If ever there was a question of her intent, she would simply grin mischievously, leaving many to wonder. Her standards were high. Her work ethic was unmatched, and she passed that on, undiluted, to each of her children.
Jeanne was quick-witted, fearless, and somewhat of a feminist. Her close friends and family knew her as difficult, uncompromising, and reflexively contrary, forever saying “No” before she heard the question. She made almost everyone feel, at one time or another, as though she could take you or leave you. She was independent, self-sufficient, and an island of mystery.
She loved to dance, take naps, and watch the hummingbirds on her deck. She also had a fondness for flowers, well-behaved dogs, soft boiled eggs, and the color pink. She enjoyed mowing the lawn in a big sun hat and took the length of her grass very seriously. She secretly loved company, but most knew not to stop over during the 6 o’clock hour as she never missed “World News”.
She was never, ever, ever late, and if you proved yourself to be such, she would condescendingly ask if you owned a watch. If you ran out of gas more than once, she’d leave you sit. If you ran out of money, she’d shake her head, then offer to help you out. She believed in tough love, accepting consequences, and learning from your mistakes.
Most of all, Jeanne was honest. She never minced words and rarely made an attempt to sweeten the truth. She seemed to prefer things a bit more savory. Her candid transparency made her vulnerable, but she was honest and genuine anyway. Jeanne saw things as they were and gave it to you straight. If she disagreed with your choices, you would know it.
She had a tender, kind, and deeply generous heart. She was more forgiving than most knew. If you spent enough time around her, loving her as she was, she loved you back with unrivaled ferocity. She made sure you knew that too.
Jeanne served as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and attended the local Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. She held fast to the Bible hope of a resurrection to everlasting life on a paradise earth. She looked forward to seeing her loved ones again and found great comfort in that promise.
Cremation has taken place with Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center, La Porte. Dates of service are yet forthcoming.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the family c/o Rayna Perkins, 2900 Monroe Street, La Porte, IN 46350.
Condolences may be shared online at www.cutlercares.com.