James RUSSELL Perkins Jr. was born April 13, 1952 in Baltimore MD to Essie Mae Lipscomb and James
Perkins Sr., both of whom preceded him in death. He departed this life in his home on February 7, 2021.
Russell graduated from Baltimore City College in 1970 and went on to obtain his Bachelor’s degree from
Frostburg State University in 1974. He continued his education, receiving his Master’s degree from
Loyola College in 1981 and his Doctorate of Education from Harrington University in 2000.
A Life Member and Devoted Brother of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Russell was initiated in 1982
through the Kappa Kappa Lambda Chapter. He remained faithful in his service as a member of the Rho
Tau Lambda Chapter where he served as the Chairman of the Scholarship Fund. His commitment and
dedication to the committee afforded him the honor of having the Rho Tau Lambda Education
Scholarship now renamed the James Russell Perkins Scholarship.
Always having a passion for education, Russell gave more than 30 years to the Baltimore City Public
School System where he taught music at every academic level and then progressed to Administration
where he served as both an Assistant Principal and Principal at several different schools. He was most
well known for his time at his alma mater, Baltimore City College, where he was the band director of the
Black Knights Marching Band, Jazz Band, and Concert Band; all of which were award winning.
Russell’s passion for music expanded beyond the realm of education and afforded him the opportunity
to play many horned instruments with several bands traveling all around the world and culminating
playing trumpet with the Columbia Jazz Band when his health began limiting his ability to play.
In addition to his love of music, Russell also had an immense love of watching television and movies,
traveling, playing cards and sports. He was able to foster his love of sports through coaching football
and women’s basketball on the high school and collegiate levels. Extremely competitive, it was not
uncommon to find Russell doing plenty of trash talking during any card game or sporting event. The
only thing he loved greater than any of these things was his boys.
Remaining here to continue spreading Russell’s Light and Love is his wife of almost 23 years, Jennifer;
His sons – Damian and Chris (“Tammi”); his grandsons – “Alex” and Ryan; his sister, Deborah “Debbie”
Pettigrew; his best friend who has been like a brother – Tony Carberry (Linda); the mothers of his
children – Deborah Lee (Damian) and Pamela J Perkins (Chris) and the hosts of lives he’s touched
throughout his expansive time here with us.
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