Mrs. Carol Jane Perkins

Mrs. Carol Jane Perkins


Let us remember with thanksgiving the life and ministry of Carol Jane May Paxton Perkins, 93, of St. John’s, FL, who died on Saturday, February 19, 2022.

Carol Jane was born on May 18, 1928 to Wilson and Mildred Paxton of Detroit, MI. Carol Jane was an exemplary student, taking an early interest in early childhood education. She graduated from Albion College in 1950, Phi Beta Kappa, and later obtained a master’s degree in early childhood education at Adelphi College on Long Island. 

In Detroit, Carol Jane met and married her partner and love of her life Rev. William H. Perkins, Jr., a United Methodist minister. They quickly began their adventure together, serving United Methodist churches in Mobile, AL, Kensington, CT, Southampton, NY, Amityville, NY, Rockville Centre, NY, Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Longford, Limerick, Wexford, all in the Republic of Ireland, where they made many friends in each locale. Bill and Carol served in the New York Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church for over 45 years.

Carol Jane and Bill had four children, William Randolph (born in Mobile), Jonathan David (born in Kensington), James Wilson and Nancy Elizabeth (both born in Southampton). More than a minister’s wife, Carol Jane held different teaching positions, acting for many years as Director of Grace Playschool in Malvern, NY, and served on many civic committees throughout her life, such as President of the Early Childhood Education Council of Nassau County, and others concerning musical and theater arts. Carol Jane participated in a sacred dance group for many years and conducted children’s choirs. She and Bill sponsored refugee families from Vietnam and Afghanistan, who lived in the church parsonage with them until the families could prosper on their own in the United States. They also traveled extensively, on mission and personal ventures, visiting many countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. 

Descending from a line of immigrants who settled in Northern Michigan, Carol Jane spent many of her summers in Bay View, MI, a Chautauqua founded by the Methodist Church in the mid 1800’s. There, she was actively involved in the theater and musical arts, performing in dozens of musicals and plays, singing in the Vesper’s Choir for decades, being an active member of the Women’s Council, and otherwise participating in the civic and religious life there. 

After retirement, Carol Jane and Bill lived in McLean, VA and Bradenton, FL and after Bill’s passing in 2002 she returned to Long Island to live in Glen Cove for a number of years, near her daughter Nancy and her family. For the past 10 years, Carol Jane resided in Westminster Woods, St. John’s, FL near her son Jonathan and his family, where she co-wrote her published biography “Dare to Be Different.” 

Carol Jane is pre-deceased by her husband Bill (Dec. 2002) and their daughter Nancy Latham (Dec. 2007) and survived by their children Randy (and Kristen) Perkins, Jon (and Lynn) Perkins, Jim (and Bridget) Perkins and son-in-law John (and Laura) Latham, and their grandchildren, Brittany, Casey, Drew, Kaitlyn, Grace, Lily, Lauren, Max, Nik and Xan. 

Celebrations of Carol Jane’s life will be held in Bay View, MI this summer, where her family will congregate, and at St. Mark’s UMC, Rockville Centre, NY in April 2022. Her family and all whom she met are blessed for the life of Carol Jane May Paxton Perkins, who was always in awe of the wonder of life and always celebrating its diverse people, places and things.