Area’s oldest resident passes away at 108

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tachie Perry, Covington County’s oldest resident, passed away Sun., Dec. 19. She was 108.

Described as a “inspiration to all” who knew her, the Perry Store Community native — by her own accounts — lived life to its fullest.

The widow of Bob Perry, the proprietor of Perry’s Store, “Mrs. Tachie” was also a mother, an artist and a Sunday school teacher. She survived a fire that took her home and all her worldly possessions. She had even ridden a camel past the pyramids in Egypt and visited the Holy Land.

Sal.Lee Sasser, director of operations for Sasser Enterprises, parent company of Andalusia Manor and the place Perry called home for many years before her death, said Monday that Perry was an “inspiration to us all.”

“Mrs. Tachie was just a great person,” Sasser said. “She loved her family, loved her friends and loved the Lord. She saw so much in her life — it was just amazing to hear her tell it. She was just a wonderful person. She will be sorely missed.”

It’s a fact Perry was the oldest living person in the county, but there’s no way to determine if she was the oldest living person in the state at the time of her death.

State health department spokesman Albert Woolbright said the Office of Vital Statistics, which keeps track of birth and death records, did not issue birth certificates prior to 1908.

But for local residents and the friends and family of Tachie Perry, it doesn’t matter if she made the state record books — she had already left her mark on Coffee and Covington counties.

In a previous Star-News story, Jo Linda Farris, a member of the activities staff at Andalusia Manor, said she had known Perry all of her life.

“My grandparents lived next door to them,” she said. “So we’re just family.”

At that time, Mrs. Perry introduced Mrs. Farris as “my daughter,” then added that the families had been together through everything.

“If there was a high wind, or a storm, we were together during it,” she said.

Mrs. Farris said she has always admired Mrs. Perry.

“I think of her as a woman of many talents,” she said. “She was never one to sit around. She painted china; she did projects. She’s amazing.”

For complete obituary information, See Page 4 of today’s paper.

Perry is survived by her sons, James T. Perry and Jack Perry; a daughter, Kathleen Smith; a niece, Runelle Aplin; eight grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and eight great-great-grandchildren.

Services are planned for Wed., Dec. 23, at 2 p.m., at Wyatt Funeral Home in Opp. Interment will follow in the Alberton Cemetery. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be made to the First Baptist Church of Kinston building fund.