Born October 8, 1929, to a family of sharecroppers, John and Emma Marie Hudson Perry, Loston (Perry) was the second child of six children. From a young age he and his extended family were active in Clover Baptist Church in Whitesville Tenn.
Known as “Boot” to his immediate family, he was the only one in the family who was allowed, with the urging of his mother, to attend grade school, in the mornings and return to work the fields for the remainder of the day. His intelligence and tenacity earned him support from his family to continue with his education. This gave him the lifelong responsibility of taking care of his family until his last days. He moved in with the town’s only Black doctor as his personal driver and attended Allen White High School. In 1951, he enlisted in the United States Army during the 1951 draft.
The US Army provided an opportunity to go to college. While at Tennessee State University he was referred to a young lady for a book he needed for class. Her name was Katie Mae Turner. They were married in 1955. In 1956 teaching opportunities led him from Nashville to Indianapolis where they had one daughter, Regina Anne.
Education was important to Perry, as he dedicated over 50 years to the Indiana Public School District. He taught and introduced junior golf in the inner city for many summers and enjoyed his personal time on the golf course. He took great pride in keeping a manicured lawn and he loved to travel. He had a successful janitorial business for many years, ‘500 Maintenance Company.’ His passion though, was in educating the youth.
Perry was one of the founders of the Tennessee State University, Indianapolis Alumni Chapter and a member of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. He supported many civil rights organizations, family members, as well as being an active member in his church.
His favorite saying was “God First.” He kept his Bible close to him. He always talked about the Mount Zion Baptist Church Men’s Sunday School. Perry was a loyal member of Mount Zion Baptist Church since the 1960’s and served as a deacon. He was also on the housing board and the credit union board. He remained an active member until he moved to Los Angeles with his daughter and joined the Second Baptist Church of Los Angeles as a faithful member.
He is preceded in death by his parents, John and Marie Perry, sisters; Jennie Mae Woods, Morine Pirtle and brothers; Mack Perry and Sidney Perry. He leaves behind to cherish his memories a loving daughter Regina Kimbell (Wendell), two grandchildren: Brighton and Kennedy Kimbell and sister Catherine Perry and a host of relatives and friends.
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