OBITUARY

Tamara Rochelle Perkins

August 11, 1972October 6, 2020
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Tamara Perkins, 48, of Shelbyville, KY, passed away on October 6, 2020. She was a native of North Carolina and the wife of Cary Perkins of Shelbyville. She graduated Magna Cum Laude both as an undergraduate at East Carolina University and with an MBA from the University of Louisville.

In 1999, she was struck down with a golf-ball size malignant brain tumor and given a 20% chance to survive. She also had two tumors on her spine that were iradiated away. She endured all the radiation someone could medically be given, and a year later endured another brain surgery as well as two eye surgeries. She humbly overcame all of that and rebounded to enjoy a full life for the next 20 years. To everyone she met for the first time, she would witness to them about her tumor, her operations and radiation before pointing skyward to say: “I have a mighty God!” She suffered a massive stroke on September 20th, and Jesus took her home on October 6th.

She loved to dance and loved her family and friends, but most of all she loved Jesus. She was God’s own sweet Angel on earth. Everyone who knew her knew that, and no one who met her ever forgot her or forgot her name. On hearing the sad news, someone remarked, “The fragrance of Jesus is on so many people because Tamara touched their life,” and there is nothing that could be said about her that would have pleased her more. It was her mission in life. She is missed, and she will never be forgotten by those who knew and loved her.

Tamara is survived by her husband of 15 years, W. Cary Perkins of Shelbyville, KY; her mother, Shelba Gasperson of Clarksville, IN; two sisters, Dana (Jonathan) Stirman of Oviedo, FL, and Rachel Snyder of Salem, IN; three nieces, Alanna Snyder, Chloe Snyder and Grace Snyder of Salem, IN; and two nephews, Jonathan Stirman, Jr. and Noah Stirman of Oviedo, FL. She is also survived by her stepdaughter, Amanda Perkins Rucker and two step-grandsons, Gaven Rucker and Gage Rucker, all of Frankfort, KY: and a sister-and-brother-in-law, Mary and Craig Strautin of Fernandina Beach, FL.

Memorial services will be held on Saturday, October 17th, 2020 at 11 AM at Arch L. Heady & Son at Westport Village, 7410 Westport Road in Louisville. Cremation was chosen. The family will receive friends on Friday, October 16, 2020, from 4 to 8 PM at the funeral home. The service on Saturday will also be live-streamed via the funeral home Facebook page for those wary of COVID-19. The live-stream will begin 10 minutes prior to service time. www.facebook.com/archlheady In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Franklin County Humane Society, 1401 Kentucky Ave, Frankfort, KY 40601 or online at https://www.fchsanimals.org/donate1.html

Services

  • Visitation

    Friday, October 16, 2020

  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, October 17, 2020

    VIEW VIDEO

Memories

Tamara Rochelle Perkins

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Susan ODaniel

October 18, 2020

The visitation, service and memorial video are all beautiful tributes to such a lovely person. Always a joyful spirit and so ready to laugh! My heart goes out to everybody who loved her! No doubt there is an enormous void but Tamara's light shines brightly so look to the stars and you will see her!

Carol & Gary Vanderhoff

October 17, 2020

Cary Perkins and Tamara's mother and family,

We always looked forward to seeing Tamara at DCBA. The last time we saw her, she was with her mother at Cheddar's, and we had a nice conversation and hugs all around.

Tamara is still a bright spot in the eyes of everyone she has met over her short lifetime. Please accept our condolences for not only your loss but also the loss to everyone who ever knew Tamara.

Carol & Gary Vanderhoff

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Biography

I am posting my favorite picture of my beautiful wife, Tamara. It was taken on a Caribbean cruise in 2012 when she was 40 years old. Tamara suffered a massive stroke on September 20th. That was three weeks ago today. She never regained consciousness, and Jesus took her home to be with Him for eternity in the early morning of October 6th. I was by her side in the hospital then and in every other moment I was allowed. Six days in, she subtly let me know with a gentle thumb squeeze at the perfect moment that she could hear me. That meant a lot to me. And I talked with her throughout just as I would talk to you, because I knew she was listening.
She had made it clear that she would rather be with Jesus than go through anything like the grueling rehab she had to endure in 1999. More about that in a minute. But rehab from this would have been much worse had she survived. Given the middle brain damage evident on the MRI which they showed me, the neurosurgeons gave her no chance to be herself. They still have no idea where the blood came from, but they said it was not an aneurysm. The most likely thing they said was a rupture of a fistula damaged by intense radiation 21 years ago. A “rise up and walk” miracle was really the only option she would have agreed to. And God, in His infinite wisdom, had other plans for her in Heaven. Tamara had once told her Mother, that when this moment eventually came, the first thing she was going to do was to crawl up in God’s lap.
A Chaplin asked me in the hospital if I was mad at God. I looked at him kind of funny, and quietly said, “No.” I have a sign as I leave my house that says, “God knows what He’s Doing!” And I must trust that He knows what He’s doing. The Bible says, “His ways are as high above our ways as the Heavens are above the earth.”
I had another Chaplin ask me, “Don’t you want to know why?” I was kind of at a loss to answer, but kind of said not really, then changed that to “God knows what He’s doing.” Of course, I’d like to know why, but does it really matter? And if I trust God, I know He has a plan. He had a plan for Tamara, and He has a plan for me…and also one or you. And I must trust that He knows best. Maybe someday it will all be evident. Or maybe, I won’t know until she hugs me and welcomes me home with her in Heaven.
When Tamara was on her way to the hospital, I suddenly remembered something I had initially kept to myself through all this. When we decided to get married, and with me being 23 years older than her, Tamara said she told her Mother that she thought we’d have 15 good years. Of course, that was about our 23 year age difference. On the way to the hospital, I remembered her telling me that. That 15 years was up on August 25th when we celebrated our 15th anniversary. This happened 26 days later. So, as much of a shock as this was to me and to everyone else, we know God has a plan, even if we don’t agree and it is not at all evident to us. God knows what He’s doing.
Many of you know of her past struggles with a golf-ball sized malignant brain tumor 21 years ago and two tumors on her spine. She endured two brain surgeries, two eye surgeries and all the full-body radiation that medically may be given someone. After being only given a 20% percent chance by the surgeon at that time, God brought her through it in a true miracle, and she was able to live a full life. And she would point at the sky and tell everyone she met that she had a Mighty God. Her family has told me the real miracle was that they got to have her with them for another 21 years.
Tamara was the sweetest person I have ever known. Everyone who ever knew her fell in love with her almost immediately. No one ever forgot her name. And that all seemed to mystify her, as well as why people thought she was so beautiful. She genuinely could not see it. She would say the sweetness you saw in her was the Jesus in her. Since I am 23 years older, this wasn’t supposed to happen. Everybody is in shock, but maybe me the most of all. I still cannot believe she’s gone. She could touch my heart in a way no one else has ever been able to.
She loved to dance and she loved her family and her friends. But most of all, everyone knew she loved Jesus the most. She was God’s own sweet Angel on earth. Everyone who knew her knew that. On hearing the sad news, someone remarked, “The fragrance of Jesus is on so many people because Tamara touched their life,” and there is nothing that could be said about her that would have pleased her more. It was her mission in life. She is missed and she will never be forgotten by those who knew and loved her.
I feel a very deep sadness. I miss her terribly, as I know many of you do as well. Even with her miraculous full recovery from 21 years ago, she battled pain in her neck, back, and shoulders, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue nearly every day. She could rise to the occasion when necessary, and especially when it came time to dance. She really loved her dancing, both country-western and swing. Often, she’d ask me to pray for some sort of pain or dizziness every day, and sometimes multiple times a day. She called me upstairs to pray for dizziness that morning, except when I got there, it soon became evident it wasn’t the usual dizziness. And I sat beside her as she told me she was scared, and as she faded as I called 911. But never in a million years would I have dreamed this. But now she has been made whole and will be pain-free for eternity.
I’ve been looking through some of the great pictures I have of her today getting them ready for next Saturday. She has been such a very important part of my life and always will be. I know she is still here with me. She will always be the most special part of my heart and my guiding Angel just as she was when she was here.
I miss her so much, but I have no choice but to carry on. And I will do that with the help of my daughter and grandsons, and Tamara’s family who’ve told me they always want me to be a part of it. And I will do it with the help of my many friends who’ve been so supportive by messaging me, staying in touch, and praying for her and me. Thank you so much! You have helped me so much, given me strength, and let me know I am not alone. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
- Cary Perkins

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