Update: Joe Simnacher of The Dallas Morning News talked to my dad and wrote a piece about my grandfather. What a pleasant surprise.
This started as a Facebook post, a way to share a bit about my grandfather, who died last week. I wanted to link to his obituary on the newspaper’s or funeral home’s website, but they are both are packed with ads, which is off-putting to say the least. So I created a new home for part of his story.
In the past year or so, it seemed like I talked (and listened) to him more than I ever have. One of the funnier moments occurred last Christmas when my sister and I visited him. Out of the blue, he looked at my sister and said, “You’re pretty.” She smiled and said, “Aw, thanks.” I then asked, “What about me, Poppy?” and he said, “You hang in there.” I cracked up, a little surprised that he would be so complimentary of just one of us, and then lifting his index finger in my direction he said something about how a good sense of humor will take you far.
William R. Perkins
William R. Perkins passed away on July 19, 2016. He was born June 16, 1925, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to Beauregard and Evelyn Perkins. He enlisted in Enlisted Reserve Corps (now known as US Army Reserve) before graduating from Oakmont High School in Pennsylvania. Bill was called up July 7, 1943, and was sent to Camp Hood for basic training. In November he was assigned to Purdue University in the Army Specialized Training Program. The program was abruptly terminated in March 1944 and he was then assigned to Company F 407 Infantry Regiment of the 102nd Infantry Division at Camp Swift in Texas.
He served in World War II from November 1944 to February 1945. He was awarded a combat infantry badge, a good conduct medal, the ETO campaign medal with one campaign star, a bronze star, and two purple hearts with oak leaf cluster.
Bill graduated from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore Maryland in 1951 with a Bachelor of Arts in geology. He worked for 35 years as a geophysicist in petroleum exploration. Most of his work experience was with Sun Oil.
He married the woman who nursed him back to health after tonsil surgery at Johns Hopkins, Corinne Susan Reinert, 67 years ago. Together they reared four lovely children. He was a loving and faithful husband and father.
He was an active member at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Richardson. He served in many capacities including singing in the choir and serving on church council. He and Corinne enjoyed travelling after retirement.
He is known among friends and family for his kind heart, generous spirit, and quick wit. His blue eyes often sparkled with his wonderful sense of humor. He was always willing to discuss history, the Bible, his travels, and his love of geology. One of his prized possessions was his collection of bolo ties.
He is preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Mildred and Eleanor.
He is survived by his wife, Corinne, son Bill (Kathy), daughters Suzanne Habhegger, Stephanie Landers (Richard), Sandy Perkins (Jim) and six grandchildren, Andy Landers (Julia), Paul Landers (Adrian), Lindsey Perkins Wade (Brandon), Emily Perkins, Erin Hurtado (Mark) and Joshua Perkins. He is also survived by 5 great grandchildren, Collier and Vivian Corinne Landers; Jillian, Johanna and Jacqueline Landers.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, July 30, 2016, at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Richardson Texas at 11:00 a.m. with a reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Luke’s Church or the charity of your choice.