Burton Heebner Perry, 92, of Drasco, AR, went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Thursday, May 30, 2013.
Burton was born in Newark, New Jersey on October 4, 1920 to Mary Kriebel Heebner Perry and Wayne Llewellyn Perry, and grew up in Philadelphia, PA. He met the love of his life, Mae Alice Vautier, while attending Bible classes and they were married on June 28, 1942 in Glenside, PA. Burton and Mae Alice soon relocated to Eastern Kentucky as home missionaries where they directed the Dessie Scott Children’s Home while Burton furthered his education at Jackson Jr. College. He was pastor of the Licking River Baptist Church in Magoffin County, Kentucky. During the week he rode horseback to one-room school houses up the “hollars” to hold Bible classes. Following the desire to further his college education, Burton and Alice then moved to Arkadelphia, Arkansas where he began a life of bi-vocational ministry. He served as bi-vocational pastor of several Clark County churches, including Harmony Hill, Mount Zion, Bethlehem and East Whelen. He served for 16 years as a volunteer music minister at Highway Baptist Church of Sherwood. He also did pulpit supply and music supply for many other churches. Leading the music, teaching a Bible class, corralling youth, performing weddings, visiting the sick, caring for needs of others – these were some of the many hats he wore. The number of lives that he touched and changed for his Savior is legion.
He was territorial sales manager for a firm in Little Rock while he continued his life of volunteer service. Burton completed his Bachelor’s degree in 1985 at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, at which time he began his seminary studies. He graduated and received his degree at the age of 72 from Midwestern Theological Seminary in Kansas City. It was at that time of his life he fulfilled his passion…to make theological education available to anyone, especially bi-vocational ministers, who would not be able to receive it otherwise. Burton directed theological education for the Arkansas Baptist State Convention for eight years, retiring in 2002 at the age of 82. He was also an adjunct professor for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
He had countless friends and was loved by all those who knew him. He was preceded in death by his parents; a daughter, Nancy Perry Turney of Ooltewah, TN; a sister, Lillian Perry Hill of Philadelphia, PA; two brothers, Wayne Llewellyn Perry Jr. of Aldan, PA and Jay Eugene Perry of Tahlequah, OK; granddaughter Jean Coon Dudley of Blair, NE and great-granddaughter, Shannon Nesbitt of Blair, NE.
He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Mae “Alice” Vautier Perry; two daughters, Wilma Jean (Clois) Cool of Blair, NE and Connie (Aubrey) Gardner of Drasco, AR, and son-in-law, Richard Turney of Ooltewah, TN. He is also survived by nine grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
Page 2 of 2 - The family received friends at the Heber Springs Baptist Church on Monday, June 3, 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM, followed by the funeral service at 11 in the sanctuary of Heber Springs Baptist Church. Burial was at 2 PM, Rest Hills Cemetery, Sherwood, AR. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the building fund, Heber Springs Baptist Church or purchase of Gideon Bibles.
A special thank you to Cleburne County Hospice and Renea Osburn.
To sign his guestbook, please visit www.arkansasfuneralcare.com Arrangements made by Arkansas Funeral Care.