Cover photo for Betty "Kitty" Kay Perkinson's Obituary
Betty "Kitty" Kay Perkinson Profile Photo

Betty "Kitty" Kay Perkinson

October 5, 1947 — December 24, 2020

Betty "Kitty" Kay Perkinson

Dr. Betty Kay Jolly Perkinson “Kitty” went to be with her Lord on December 24, 2020. She was the daughter of the late Ethel Mae and Joseph Jolly and was preceded in death by her brother Jody Jolly.

Kitty was a former member of Delta Kappa Gamma, Churchland Rotary Club, and Pilot Club of Portsmouth. She was a member of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church and of the Turtle Group. She received a BS Degree in English from East Carolina University, a Masters in Developmental Studies from Old Dominion University, and her PhD from George Mason University. Kitty taught in the Portsmouth Public Schools, Frederick Military Academy, Tidewater Community College, and was a visiting professor at Charles University and American University, both in Prague, Czech Republic. Kitty was a published play wright and author. Following her retirement from Tidewater Community College, she was awarded Professor Emeritus status.

She loved to learn, teach, read, and write. She also enjoyed traveling, socializing, making new friends, dancing, skiing, and providing words of wisdom.

Kitty was a loving wife, mother, Mimi, sister, aunt, and friend. She is survived by her husband James Perkinson, three children Caroline Lewis and husband, Robert, of Nashville, NC, Christina Thornburg and husband, Hank, of Chesapeake, and James Earl Perkinson, III and fiancé, Melanie, of Portsmouth; nine grandchildren Eric Day (Leah), Emily-Kaye Day, Cara Lewis, Robert Lewis, Abbey-Mae Lewis, Henry Thornburg IV, Katherine Thornburg, Ashlyn Reed Perkinson, and Jaida Elizabeth Perkinson; mother-in-law Billie Perkinson; sister Lydia Jolly Morgan (Jack); and sisters-in-law Brenda Jolly, JoAnn Perkinson Daniels (Jerry), and Sandy Perkinson.

A private service will be held at Baker-Foster Funeral Home, 5685 Lee Farm Lane, Suffolk VA 23435 with inurnment following at Meadowbrook Memorial Gardens. Kitty will be available for viewing in the funeral home on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 from 9 AM until 8 PM, with the family receiving friends from 6:30 to 8 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Condolences may be registered at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Betty "Kitty" Kay Perkinson, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Wednesday, December 30, 2020

7:30 - 9:00pm (Eastern time)

R.W. Baker & Co. Funeral Home and Crematory, Downtown Suffolk

509 W. Washington St., Suffolk, VA 23434

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