Cover photo for Shirley Perkins's Obituary
1929 Shirley 2021

Shirley Perkins

August 31, 1929 — July 20, 2021

Shirley Keif Perkins, 91, entered the Presence of her Lord on July 20, 2021.

In her last days as she talked of heaven her main desire was "to see Him (Jesus Christ)."

Shirley was born on August 30, 1929 in Bryon, NY to Homer and Lillian Keif. Both her parents died at an early age requiring Shirley (age 6 at the time) and her siblings to live in various family and foster homes. In 1947 she graduated from Letchworth Central School in Castile, NY.

It was under the ministry of Pastor Donald Perkins Sr. (her future father-in-law) that Shirley accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior at the age of 13. Her decision to follow Christ in all things influenced the choices she made the rest of her life.

At the age of 13, Shirley first met her future husband, James (Jim) Perkins at a Bible Study led by his father. They started dating in her senior year after Jim's discharge from the Navy in 1946. Their marriage took place on September 2, 1947at the Elohim Bible Tabernacle in Castile, NY. Later they both attended and graduated from Elohim Bible Institute in 1950. All 5 kids were born in Warsaw, NY.

In 1959, Jim and Shirley responded to the Lord's leading to move out west. They served churches in rural communities throughout Idaho and Montana.

Jim and Shirley, in over 60 years of ministry, touched many lives in New York, Montana, and Idaho. With each change of location, Shirley wholeheartedly served alongside her husband as a pastor's wife, printer's assistant, typist and proofreader, piano/organ player, confidant, encourager, and prayer warrior. Her warm, caring spirit and servant's heart brightened many lives.

Shirley loved her family. Her husband was her best friend as they did all things together. Her kids, grandkids and great grandkids were her delight. Her genuine care for each extended through the years as prayer warrior and encourager. Recently in one of her writings she reminded: "Keep looking to the Lord and trusting Him. He is a wonderful Savior, Friend, always present, always ready for us to come to Him in prayer. He is always 'there' and He loves us so very much more than words can say!!!"

Shirley was preceded in death by her husband, James H. Perkins in 2016. She leaves behind Andy (Teresa) Perkins, Grand Prairie, Texas; Sam (Joy) Perkins, Kamiah, Idaho; Miriam (Cal) Leavitt, Wasilla, Alaska; Tom Perkins, Des Moines, Washington; and Priscilla (Steve) Mathewson, Libertyville, Illinois. They have 20 grandchildren, 46 great grandchildren (with 47th on the way), and 5 great, great grandchildren.

Memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 28, 2021, at 11:00 am, at Kamiah Bible Church in Kamiah, Idaho. Memorial gifts may be made in Shirley's name to the Far Eastern Broadcast Company ( or BESTWA (
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Shirley Perkins, please visit our flower store.


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