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Eugene Perkins

Rhody Family Funeral Home

Cephas “Eugene” was born in Elderslie Township on September 2, 1940, to proud parents William George and Margaret Elizabeth (Liverance) Perkins. He joined his parents and his older brother Bob on Lot 30, Concession 11 in Elderslie Township where the family operated a mixed farm. Not long after, Audrey made the family complete. The children attended S.S. #10, Elderslie, and once Eugene finished grade 8, he realized his calling was to be on the farm. Here, he worked alongside his dad and Bob, while also completing custom work for farmers in the community. Eugene did take a couple of shop classes at the high school in Chesley, which was more up his alley.

Although he wasn’t a dancer (at first), on a Wednesday night, Eugene found himself at a dance in Sauble Beach. Here, he met the love of his life, Eleanor “Marguerite” Jackman. They danced all night, and began dating. The two were married on March 19, 1966 at the Presbyterian Manse in Port Elgin with Eugene’s brother Bob, Marguerite’s sister, Marlene Jackman, and her cousin, Diane Thompson as their witnesses.

Marguerite and Eugene made their first home on the 8th Concession of Elderslie, and a couple of years later, they bought a farm on the Arran-Elderslie Townline. They began milking 50 Holstein cattle, and later, they switched to beef cattle. One day, Eugene was out in the field for a lot longer than he normally was, so Marguerite started to worry. She went for a walk in the field, and she came across Eugene in a tree, and the bull that ran him up the tree, waiting on the ground for him to come back down! No one knows how long he was in the tree, however, he was up there long enough for Marguerite to miss him! As newlyweds, their family grew with the arrival of three boys, Ken in 1967, followed by Murray in 1970 and Scott in 1975. Eugene and Marguerite loved living, working, and raising their boys on the farm and made the farm their home for 39 great years.

While busy on the farm and raising three young boys, Eugene began working for Sprung Transport starting in the late 1970s up until the early 2000s. After retiring, he began working at the sales barn for Dave Carson. Things shifted for Eugene when he started having pain in his knees, so he began assisting Mennonite families, driving them to various locations.

Although Eugene’s life revolved around family, farming and trucking, he still made time for dancing. In retirement, Eugene and Marguerite would dance three times a week—Wednesdays at the Knights of Columbus in Owen Sound, Fridays at the Wiarton Legion and Sunday afternoons at jamborees in the area, like in Harriston and Bognor. Eugene enjoyed listening to classic country music and reading the Western Ontario Farmer and the Rural Voice. He loved a home cooked, traditional meal, and enjoyed many meals at Kettles. Eugene liked to watch the Toronto Blue Jays, Jeopardy, and the news. Family vacations were important and not always easy to fit into the schedule between farming and trucking, but somehow, they made sure to go on vacations, especially on the Bruce Peninsula. In retirement, there were some longer trips too, like to Alaska, Nashville, and New Brunswick.

Almost every day, Eugene was out and about for his daily social tour (also known as his gossip tour!) He would make stops at the gas station for coffee, the drug store, and the bank, catching up with his fellow community members. Eugene wouldn’t often be caught out without his hat on! He was hard working, strong, honest, and arguably a little stubborn. It was usually his way, or no way! Eugene was so proud of all of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren’s accomplishments. He was so proud of his son Scott and his partner Tracy when they moved to Manitoba in September of 2023. He cherished every moment with each of his family members.

In 2007, Eugene and Marguerite moved from the farm to Martha Avenue in Chesley. When Marguerite became more ill in 2016, Eugene was her main caregiver, and dedicated most of his time to helping her so that she was able to stay at home. Marguerite passed away on June 5, 2019, and this shifted things even more in Eugene’s life. In 2022, he sold the house and moved to the Turner apartments in Chesley, or what he called the “birdhouses!” Sadly, Eugene passed away suddenly at his home on Friday, April 5, 2024, in his 84th year.

Loving father of Ken of Chesley, Murray (Cathy) of Waterloo, and Scott (Tracy) of Manitoba. Eugene will be dearly missed by his grandchildren Tyler (Sam), Caitlin (Matt Densa), Cameron (Courtney Pryce), Claire, Thomas, Alexis, Kiefer, as well as his great-grandchildren Colt, Kaisley, and Madison. He will be fondly remembered by his sister Audrey Lembke of Sullivan Township, sister-in-law Marilyn Perkins of Chesley, the entire Jackman family, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his wife Marguerite (Jackman) Perkins, his brother Bob Perkins, his brother-in-law Wayne Lembke, and his parents William and Margaret (Liverance) Perkins.

Visitation will be held at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley on Thursday from 2 – 4 and 7 – 9 p.m., where a funeral service honouring Eugene’s life will be held on Friday, April 12, 2024, at 11 a.m. Interment in Chesley Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to Chesley Hospital Foundation or the charity of your choice would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

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