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Evelyn Perhac died on June 18, 2022 with family at her bedside in Morristown, Tennessee, at 77 years old. She was predeceased by her husband, John “Jack” Frank Perhac of Hayes, Virginia; her brother, Donald Eugene Compton of Morristown, Tennessee, and her special aunt, Annette Childress of Honaker, Virginia. She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Drs. Stephen Perhac and Jessica Fisher, and her grandchildren, Evie Perhac, age 11, and Sadie Perhac, age 8, of Asheville, North Carolina; special niece, Donna Richardson and husband Tim; special niece, Leanne Hess and husband Steve and their children; special nephew, Shawn Compton and wife Michelle and their children, and her dog “Cleo.” She is also survived by several special cousins and a special aunt in southwestern Virginia.

Mary Evelyn Compton was born on Oct. 15, 1944 in Richlands, Virginia. She was the older of two children. She was raised in Honaker, a small town in southwestern Virginia. The first in her family to attend college, Evelyn graduated from Radford University in 1966 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. She began teaching English at Denbigh High School in 1966 in Newport News where she and her husband Jack settled after his Air Force service. After a few years in the classroom, her experiences working with high school students struggling with reading led her to obtain a Master’s degree from Hampton University, focusing on reading instruction. She joined the staff at the former Gloucester Intermediate School in 1977 as an English teacher and went on to work as the gifted education coordinator for the school division and as an assistant principal at the elementary school level. She earned an Education Specialist degree from the College of William and Mary while working full-time for the school system prior to being appointed to her final and possibly most loved position as the principal of Petsworth Elementary School in 1995, where she worked until her retirement in June 2013. In her nearly 18 years at Petsworth, she worked diligently to ensure that her students had access to the best possible staff, resources and education. In her nearly 47 years in education, Petsworth held a very special place in her heart as did the many wonderful staff, for families and children she grew to know over those years. In retirement, Evelyn devoted considerable time in caring for her husband Jack who had multiple sclerosis. She read voraciously, picked up new crafts such as jewelry making, traveled to visit her family, and always enjoyed sitting with her dog having a sweet treat and watching the UNC Tarheels basketball team play–especially when they beat Duke!

As Evelyn was deeply fond of reading, and particularly loved seeing young people discover the joys in books and reading, her family would appreciate, in lieu of flowers, donations made on Evelyn’s behalf to Reading is Fundamental (

A remembrance of Evelyn will be held at a later date with her family.

For any people who have positive, meaningful, or special memories of Evelyn, her family invites you to please take the time to share them with us. We would greatly appreciate hearing from those whose lives she may have impacted. Please send any messages, whether text, audio file, or video to