Remembering Gervaise Perdue

I received the e-mail shortly after midnight letting me know that Mrs. Gervaise Perdue had stepped into eternity to meet her Savior. She was 90 years old. A few months earlier she had fallen and things went downhill after that for her.

Everyone knows that life on this earth is terminal. While we all know it intellectually, it is something that still impacts us when it happens.

I got to know Mrs. Perdue well during the US Senate campaign for David Perdue in 2014. She read some of my articles and let me know that she was sharing them with everyone she knew.

At first, I thought that it was because there was so much negative advertising about her son, David. I saw however, that she was quick to let me know her appreciation for articles that did not mention the Senate race.

It was easy to see that she loved to encourage others to strive for their best. Teaching for her was more than a profession, it was a calling.

My wife and I visited with her and she wanted to show me her work on the family history. She had converted one of the bedrooms into a home office that was packed with filing cabinets and a family tree that stretched around the room.

After seeing the library she had amassed, I suggested to some of her family that they needed to pool their resources and hire one of the great-grandchildren as full time family historian to continue the work she started. She had so much history and so many connections that I would not have been surprised to find my own name in all those connections somewhere.

She loved her children and her family. She was so proud of all of them. When we talked on the phone or visited, the conversation would gravitate toward some accomplishment by someone in her family.

Mrs. Perdue lived the life of a true public servant. She was an educator in public schools. Her husband was also an educator and an elected official. David Perdue Sr. was School Superintendent when it was an elected position.

She knew about campaigning for public office and saw it as a service to the people, not a position to lord over the people. Whether it was her husband as School Superintendent, her nephew, Sonny, as State Senator and later Governor, or her son, David, as US Senator, it never went to her head.

I will miss our phone calls and visiting with her. She was not just the mother of a candidate that I supported. She was a friend, an encourager, and a faithful believer in the hope and assurance of eternal life in Jesus Christ.

My life is blessed because God allowed our paths to cross in this lifetime. I am looking forward to seeing her again when we are reunited in heaven with our Savior and all who have trusted Him.

Signature-Donald E. Cole

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