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Max Eugene Perkins

10/09/1929 - 04/27/2015
Service Date: 05/02/2015
Service Time: 1:00 PM
Service Location: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Soloman Ward Chapel, 977 East Broadway Road, Mesa, Arizona

Max Eugene Perkins, 85, of Mesa, Arizona passed away peacefully on April 27, 2015 in Mesa, Arizona. He was born in Safford, AZ, to Reuben Eugene Perkins and Gertrude Margaret Reed on Oct 9, 1929. He had three siblings; Keith (Vella) Perkins, Carole Jean (Donald “Buzz”) Bond, and Melvin (Sharon) Perkins. His early years were spent in Mesa; his family moved to Duncan. In 1954 he fell in love with and married Patricia Taylor. He built their Mesa home where they raised their six children: Scott (Luda) Perkins, Reed (Rose) Perkins, Mark (Michelle) Perkins, Sue (James) Menlove, Ann (Steve) Towne, and Brad Perkins. Their ten grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren brought him great joy.

Max and Pat built their home in Lakeside in 1979 and after he retired that was where they spent their summers. He didn’t retire to sit and watch TV. It was tennis six mornings a week, then hours every day creating beautiful gardens and every other improvement he could think up. It was their paradise, filled with flowers and fun, family and friends. It was where last summer they celebrated their 60th anniversary with a glorious party.

Max attended Gila Junior College (Eastern Arizona Jr. College) before serving in the Eastern Canadian mission, which he loved, for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He finished his studies at Arizona State College (later changed to ASU) and began a career as an educator, teaching in the Mesa public schools for 45 years. He loved teaching, particularly history and government.

A love for photography led him to a write a book on the subject, create new methods of film development for the home photographer, and invent photo equipment and accessories. He created many slide programs for the Mesa school district and for the city of Mesa and found creative ways to bring art into the classroom.

Max had a lifelong passion for tennis. Playing for Duncan High, he and his doubles partner won the state tennis championship in 1946.  He taught the sport to his children and others, enjoying the game (and still serving aces) into his 80’s.

He loved family history and began writing as a way for his family to visualize and remember the stories of their ancestors.  He worked with a team preparing and editing the Mesa “Our Town” book in the 1960’s, and provided many photos and the artwork for the inside cover of one edition.  His last years were filled with writing many books. The last volume, which he finished a few weeks before his death, was his personal history. His hope was that these stories will foster appreciation for the great men and women he admired, and serve as inspiration to future generations.

A funeral service to celebrate his life will be held Saturday, May 2 at 1:00 pm at the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Solomon Ward building (the old 9th Ward) located at 977 E. Broadway, Mesa, AZ 85204.  A viewing will be held prior to the service, beginning at 11:30 am. Interment will be at the City of Mesa Cemetery. Arrangements by Bunker’s Garden Chapel.





  • Larry and Sunny Perkins

    Cousin Max will be remembered for his contributions to his home town of Mesa, Arizona and for the love he has for his family, especially his father Gene Perkins. Our heartfelt condolences to Pat and the entire family. He will be missed by many.

  • You are in my thoughts and prayers ,Max has now graduated, love you Harold.

  • I am a lifelong friend of Ann Towne. So sorry for your loss! Brother Max Perkins’ legacy has been tremendous and he led his life as a spiritual giant!

  • With my deepest sympathy to the family of Max, during your time of grief. The faithful man Job ask.. “If a man dies, can he live again? I will wait all the days of my compulsory service Until my relief comes. You will call, and I will answer you. You will long for the works of your hand.” Job 14: 14-15. Jesus spoke about that day at John 5:28-29 that all those in the memorial tombs will come out. What a wonderful time that will be. May Jehovah God and our Lord Jesus Christ grant you comfort in your time of need.

  • Jan Smith Shumway Farr

    Hello Pat, I was privileged to run into your daughter, Ann Towne, as we walked around the Temple the other morning. She said she was here for her Father’s funeral, and imagine my surprise when she said you were her Mother. We send our condolences to you, we have both been through losing a spouse. I know that you will receive the help and the comfort you need at this time from the “other side”. Bless you and your family.

  • Sally Ann Marks

    This message is late in coming, but Mr. Perkins was my sixth grade teacher. He inspired a love or reading and writing in me and always believed I would be a writer someday. I only regret that I wasn’t able to show him my book and other published writings. A great man.

  • Connie J Schake

    I just wanted to send my sincere good wishes to all the family of Mr. Perkins, my 6th grade teacher in 1966 who took me under his wing, put a camera in my hands and taught me much, but also sent me out into the schoolyard for art and inspiration, many times letting me select a classmate as a photo model. He was so kind to me and nurtured creativity in me that shows through my life and to this day as an exhibiting photographer and artist now living in San Francisco.
    I can’t remember if I ever said thank you to him before entering junior high, but I did over the years in my heart and I can do so now to his family. Thank you 🙏 so very much.

  • I appreciate the touching memories you shared. It was especially touching to hear from his students and the impact he had as a teacher. He loved teaching and I’m sure he feels great joy knowing that his efforts were meaningful in your life. Thank you for taking the time to share.

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