Frank Perkins, 83, of Flint passed away at his home with his family on Sunday, October 1, 2017. Services will be held on Friday, October 6, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. at Stewart Family Funeral Home with Scott Fossey and Brady Shirley officiating. Burial will follow at Myrtle Springs Cemetery in Cherokee County Texas under the direction of Stewart Family Funeral Home.
Franklin Roosevelt Perkins was born May 20, 1934 on the family farm in Ponta, TX to Onnimus Right Perkins and Berta Dotson Perkins the youngest of 11 children. He graduated from Rusk High School in Rusk and attended Harding College and Stephen F. Austin State University. Frank was preceded in death by his parents, Onnimus and Berta Perkins; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Vern and Connie Fountain; brothers, Augustus, Valentine, Tennyson, Edward, O. R., and Terry; sisters, Dorothy Burton and Diamond Sewell; sisters-in-law, Mary Perkins and Dorothy Perkins; and brothers-in law, Aulma Burton, Harvell Sewell and Dean Fountain.
He is survived by his loving family including wife, Melba Jean Fountain Perkins; children, Debbie Fontenot and husband Roy, David Perkins and Don Perkins and wife Jessie; brother, John Perkins and wife Teena; sister, Daisy Masch and husband Johnny; sisters-in-law, Alleene and Elna Perkins and brother-in-law, Bill Fountain and wife Judy; grandsons, Taylor Perkins and wife Kaitlyn, Brian Fontenot, Steven Fontenot, and Jason Fontenot; his "favorite" granddaughter Jo Beth Perkins and newly arrived great-grandson Henry James Perkins.
For most of his adult life, Frank was a rancher and raised quarter horses. Frank did work in the advertising department of the Tyler Morning Telegraph until he made the decision in 1959 to raise horses full time. He determined he needed to sell a horse every day to provide for his growing family and business and by the end of the year he sold 386 horses. At Loop 323 and Hwy 64 he had a small western store in the barn, sold and trained horses, rented horses to ride on the weekends and taught many Tylerites to ride. Frank hosted the first American Quarter Horse Association registered horse show in Tyler and was a founder of the Tyler Saddle Club and East Texas Horse Show Association.
He started breeding registered quarter horses in 1962 and in 1980 began a breeding program of double bred Poco Bueno quarter horses that became known world-wide. Over the years, Frank would promote his horses by holding over 50 production sales at the ranch. His horse breeding program produced multiple world champions, event and circuit champions, and money earners of over a million dollars. Frank was recently honored by the AQHA with the Legacy Breeders Award in recognition of 50 consecutive years of breeding American Quarter Horses.
Visitation is scheduled from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 5, 2017 at Stewart Family Funeral Home, 7525 Old Jacksonville Highway, in Tyler.
Pallbearers will be his grandsons, Taylor, Brian, Steven and Jason and family friends Clayton Parmley and Brandt Murray.
Honorary pallbearers will be Johnny Frank Harrison, Basil Bennett, Richard Davis, George Cooper, Dustin Jones, Ken Dietz, and David Cannon.
Frank's family wishes to thank the special friends and extended family members that assisted them in his care and their many prayers; as well as, the wonderful assistance of The Hospice of East Texas.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to FitSTEPS For Life (cancerfoundationforlife.org), The Hospice of East Texas (hospiceofeasttexas.org), and Parkinson's Disease Foundation (pdf.org).
Published on October 4, 2017