Jo (Leatherman) Perkey

Born: Thu., Nov. 27, 1924
Died: Tue., Apr. 24, 2012


11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Sat., Apr. 28, 2012
Location: Cleveland Rd. Location

Celebration of Life

1:00 PM Sat., Apr. 28, 2012
Location: Cleveland Rd. Location

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Jo Perkey

November 27, 1924 – April 24, 2012


Jo Perkey was born on a farm near Peabody, KS November 27, 1924 to Frank and Faye Leatherman.  She grew up in the Peabody area and graduated from Emporia State Teachers College in 1946 with a BA.  She spent the summer of 1946 in the Oakland, CA area attending a training school for Campfire Girls.  She applied for a position with South Bend Campfire Girls and moved to South Bend in September of 1946.  She attended First Methodist Church and joined the Young Adult Group where she met Crews Perkey.  They were married on September 4, 1948.  She continued with Campfire Girls until 1950.  In 1951 she was invited to join the PEO Sisterhood by her mother-in-law, Rebecca Perkey.  She has remained active in Chapter X until the last few months.  In mid-May, Jo and Crews adopted Melana Su Perkey who was born May 9, 1955 in Indianapolis, IN.  In early March Jo and Crews adopted Justin Cornell Perkey who was born on March 3, 1959 also in Indianapolis.  Both children grew up south of Mishawaka and attended the PHM School System.  After the children left home, Jo and Crews spent many years traveling nearly all over the world.  Jo was also a golf widow but spent her time with painting which was much more productive.  Seven trips to Hawaii, five to Europe, three to New Zealand, two to Thailand and Singapore, two to Japan, one to China and one to Australia.  In 1965 Jo decided to study art and started with oil paints.  She shortly decided she would rather use water colors and through the years developed into a great artist.  She belonged to the St. Joseph Valley Watercolor Society and displayed her work in numerous shows.  Her paints always went on all trips, so many paintings were done on sight. Along with Crews she created many lovely greeting cards, using many of her original paintings which Crews reduced and printed via computer.  In all she created over 400 paintings with many sold or donated.  Her last painting was completed in 2007 after which she developed Alzheimer’s.  As the disease developed through the last five years her activities were reduced but never kept her from going to PEO and First United Methodist Church of South Bend where she was a member for over 66 years.  She returned home after nine days in Memorial Hospital on April 19th where she was supported by her loving daughter-in-law, Celeste and the Center for Hospice Care staff.  They did an outstanding job of making Jo comfortable to the very end.  She passed away with her loving family and the Hospice nurse and Chaplain by her side at 10:24 a.m. on April 24th.  A celebration of Jo’s life will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, April 28th in the Welsheimer Family Funeral Home North, 17033 Cleveland Rd. with Rev. Mary Hubbard of First United Methodist Church officiating.  The family will receive friends on Saturday in the funeral home from 11:00 a.m. until the time of service.  Memorial contributions may be made to First United Methodist Church, 333 N. Main St., South Bend, IN, 46601 or the Center for Hospice Care, 111 Sunnybrook Ct., South Bend, IN, 46637.  Family and friends may leave e-mail condolences at   

Charitable donations may be made in Jo's memory to the following organizations:

Center for Hospice and Palliative Care
111 Sunnybrook Court, South Bend, IN 46637

First United Methodist Church
333 N. Main St., South Bend, IN, 46601

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