John Paul Percell Jr.

Born: Tuesday, June 13, 1944
Passed: Sunday, December 17, 2017

12/30/2017 | 11:00 am -
Unitarian Universalist Church 


On December 17, 2017 at 11:03pm, John Percell Jr. departed this life lovingly surrounded by children, grandchildren, a brother and a niece. He was born on June 13th 1944 in Register, Georgia, the son of John Paul Percell Sr. and Beatrice Percell.

John grew up an African American child in the segregated south, nonetheless, he cultivated a kind and generous spirit. He was an enthusiastic father to his children, Tariq, Zachary and Amy. He never missed a soccer game, volleyball game, softball game, school conference or school play. John was always in the audience cheering on his son Zack's magic performances. He extended the same loving support to his grand children.

John graduated from Tennessee State University in 1968 with a degree in business administration and married his wife of 30 years, Carla Percell Culbertson the same year.
He worked for Kennedy Space Center during the final 2 years of the Apollo Program.
Moving to Rockford in 1973, John was employed by Sundstrand Corporation, the Rockford Park district and the YMCA.

John is survived by his three children, Tariq Al-Amin, Zachary (Tina) Percell and Amy Havens; grandchildren, Laila, Siraj, Jaida, Charma, Alyssa, Hayden, Carlee and Dominick; siblings; Jerry, Betty and Ronnie and several nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by both of his parents and sisters, Mattie and Katherine.

The family would like to thank Northern Illinois Hospice, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, Olson Funeral Home and the Unitarian Universalist Church for their care, support and help to John and his family.

A celebration of John's life will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Saturday, December 30th 2017 at 11:00am. The Church is located at 4848 Turner Street in Rockford.

In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of John may be made to RAMM, The Rockford Park District, the Rock River Valley Food Pantry, or the Unitarian Universalist Church.

Condolences & Shared Memories (29)

  1. John A Peterson

    I am truly sorry to hear about John. When John and I would see each other at Work, It was always a fun conversation ,,, Many times I told John that whenever I had the opportunity to use the word, accurate, I would say ,,, As John Percell would say ,, Ak-rat ,,, And then we would laugh ,,, So very sorry for Your Loss ,,, He was indeed a Great Person and will be truly missed and absolutely always remembered. My condolences. I wish You Peace n’ Love JohnA Retired Rockford ParkDistrict

  2. Maggie McGarvey

    Your kind friendly welcoming smile will be missed....

  3. Martha Strawser

    John was a good man. I first met him at my sisters wedding (she worked with Carla) and then at the park district. I loved his smooth voice.

  4. Sue and Steve Rondone

    We are so sorry for your loss, Kohn was a great neighbor , will miss him driving by, and seeing him wave , forever in our hearts , prayers to the family

  5. Carolyn

    We are keeping your family in our prayers as you celebrate the life of your father (our cousin) John Paul. We will miss him. From: the Purcells (your cousins) in Philadelphia, PA: Atlanta, GA and New Castle, DE.

  6. Gary York

    I knew John when we both worked at Sundstrand. I also saw him at the Rockford Road Runners running races held in the area. He was an easy going, friendly guy.

  7. Cathy

    I knew John as part of an effort to create a Rockford Family Care Center back in 1979. His smile, laughter, kindness and enthusiasm were inspiring! May he rest in peace and his family find comfort in their memories.

  8. Barb Marler

    I am saddened to learn of John's passing, and fondly remember his great sense of humor and his smiling face. My deepest sympathy to the family.

  9. Karen Swenson

    I worked with John for many years and he was such a wonderful and caring person. Always cheerful and caring. Everyone who was in his presence left with a smile. God Bless You John.

  10. Deedee

    I'm sorry for your loss.. worked with John at the Rockford Park District he was a very kind man loved his family and loved his job very pleasant to be around rest in peace John

  11. Beth Johnsen Donahue

    My condolences to the family. You lived across the street from me on Garfield Avenue (Herman & Marjorie Johnsen). I remember him as always very kind with a wonderful smile. So very sorry!

  12. H. Ware

    I knew John when we were members of RAMM (Rockford Association for Minority Management); and, for a number of years, he and I have been neighbors in our condominium complex. Both of us served on our condo board, and John was a representative for his street. He especially liked planning and helping with garage sales--rain or shine! He and his trademark smile will be missed by many! Sincere condolences to his family.

  13. Cheryl Leonardson

    I moved into my condo in 2010 with John being a downstairs neighbor. What a wonderful, friendly, and welcoming man he was! We shared many conversations and laughs together over the years, and he'll be greatly missed. He ALWAYS had a smile for EVERYONE! May our Lord Jesus comfort his family.

  14. Breedy Wilson

    Prayers to your family. I worked with John at the Park District, he had such a kind spirit

  15. Timothy Williams

    My condolences! I've only know Mr. Percell as a passenger from a few years back when I drive para- transit. He turned me on to the wonders of the pressure cooker. When I'd pick him up from dialysis to take him home, using his pressure cooker was our usual chatter. How humble of a person he is - that will mostlikely be his profession in heaven!

  16. Steve and Jo Ann

    John was always kind, hard working and thoughtful. He will be remembered for this by his family and his many friends.

  17. Tonya

    I met John while he worked at the YMCA. What a wonderful man with a kind heart!

  18. Rita

    I worked with John at the Park district. My prayers and condolences to his family.

  19. teresa lambesis

    I had the pleasure of taking care of john at davita always had a smile and never said a bad word about anything. I will miss his smiling face. condolences to johns family you are in my prayers.

  20. Gloria Stanphill

    I worked with John for several years at the Rockford Park District. He was my Supervisor for some of those years. I was happy to call him my friend. I will miss seeing him at the retiree functions. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

  21. Brian Joynt

    I met John several years ago, and we became good friends. I spent time with John in Love's Park; he spent time visiting at my home in Ottawa, Canada but sadly, we both had health conditions over the past five years that prevented visiting. We kept in contact on the internet. He spoke so fondly and proudly of his kids and Grandkids. I feel a great loss, but feel blessed to have enjoyed his friendship these years. My sincere condolences to his family and friends

  22. gail gilbey

    John was a kind, sweet & gentle Soul. We had been neighbors for the last eight years & got to be good friends. We will miss his smile & sense of humor. He was a good & honorable man.

  23. Carma & John Blackburn

    We are so sorry to hear of John's passing and for praying for this wonderful family who have lost their loving father, grandfather and friend.

  24. Lynn

    It was so sad to hear of John’s passing. His smile lit up the room, where ever he was! He was a kind and gentle soul!

  25. Peggy

    Although I had not seen John in several years, the news of his passing was an instant reminder of what a lovely person he was. I knew him from working at the Park District and just remember how sweet, kind and gracious he was. A life well lived.

  26. Esther M Nunez

    John you were a wonderful friend. And always had a good sense of humor! Gonna miss our laughs together. May you RIP.

  27. Juli Bracken

    I’m so sorry to hear of John’s passing. I work at the Park District and remember working with John who was such a kind gentleman. My condolences to his family.

  28. Dana Russell

    I worked with John for many years at the YMCA, he always had a smile on his face, and a hug for me! His laugh made everyone have a better day, there was no way you could be in a bad mood when John was around. I truly feel blessed to have known John.

  29. Bobbi Cooper

    So sorry to learn of John's passing. We served in Rockford Association of Minority Management (RAMM) together some years back. The family is in my thoughts and prayers at this very sad time.