Jennifer Perry
Jennifer Perry
  • January 1, 1975 - November 11, 2016
  • Mabelvale, Arkansas

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Jennifer Anne Perry, 41, of Mabelvale passed away Friday, leaving behind a legacy rich in precious memories of kindness, steadfastness and dedication to family, friends and co-workers. She loved her family above all else, every day demonstrating boundless devotion to her husband, Robert Perry; her son, James Gill; her daughter, Charlotte; her mother, Robin Ward; her brother, David Ward; and sister-in-law Stephanie Hung.

Jennifer was never happier than when her family gathered at her home, whether just to visit, watch a movie or celebrate birthdays and holidays. “Jennifer loved to cook, especially for her family,” her mother says. “She was always the host for holidays; everyone came to her house. Christmas and Thanksgiving were her happiest times of the year.”

An enthusiastic and talented cook, Jennifer delighted in preparing hearty Southern dishes. She maintained and regularly updated a cookbook containing her handwritten recipes for casseroles, homemade macaroni and cheese, turkey and dressing, candied sweet potatoes, cakes, pies and more. For Jennifer, however, cooking was more than recipes and the satisfaction of exercising her creativity in the kitchen — cooking was an expression of her deep, abiding love for the people dearest to her heart.

Jennifer was a spirited woman who spoke out for what she believed in and stood steadfastly with family and friends through the best and worst of times. Her son describes her as the most dependable, responsible person he’s ever known. “She was always there for me and everyone else,” James says. “She’d go out of her way to help you even if it inconvenienced her. She was kind and beautiful and kept going no matter what.” Jennifer always made sure that James and his sister felt cherished. “She would constantly tell us that she loved us more than anything, that we were her world.”

James and Charlotte have fond memories of the many road trips they took with their mother. She loved to hop in the car and drive, talking and laughing with her family as the road unfurled before them. The journey was as important as the experience, James says. Their journeys included day trips to places such as the Ozark Folk Center at Mountain View, as well as longer trips to DisneyWorld in Florida. She enjoyed visiting museums with her children so they could explore the past and see how people in other times and places lived their lives.

Jennifer was born Jan. 1, 1975, in Texarkana, Texas. Her brother says he remembers a typical older sister-younger brother relationship that included plenty of spats, but also lots of laughter and fun. As an adult, David says, his sister was a rock for him and others. “She was faithful and always there for you. If you needed something, there was nobody you could count on more.”

Jennifer took great care to carry through on promises and commitments at home and at work, her mother says. For 15 years, Jennifer worked in accounts receivable for Community Bakery in Little Rock. She was known as the person who could get things done. “She had a strong work ethic,” Robin says. In addition to working at the bakery and caring for her family, Jennifer was earning a degree in accounting from Liberty University and was within a couple of classes of achieving her goal.

A celebration of Jennifer’s life will be held at 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, November 16 at Griffin Leggett Forest Hills Funeral Home, 10200 Hwy. 5 North in Alexander. Burial will follow at Forest Hills Cemetery in Alexander. A visitation will be held in the chapel of Forest Hills Funeral Home from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 15.