Saturday , September 17, 2016 - 10:00 PM1 comment
August 5, 1928 ~ September 10, 2016
Dean R. Perkins, son of Joseph and Mary Ann Perkins, roared into this world on August 5, 1928, in Montpelier, Idaho. Entrepreneur, raconteur, ski racer, motocross racer, rock climber, pilot, sailor, father, grandfather, mentor and friend. Dean's accomplishments were only surpassed by his kindness, his generosity, his infectious laugh, the twinkle in his eye when he told a joke and his ability to light up a room. Dean lived large and left a wealth of wonderful memories for all that were lucky to have had him touch their lives.
After having moved with his family to Ogden at an early age, Dean started his racing career riding the rope tow and slashing through the willow branches that made up the first race courses at Snow Basin. Those early training runs led him to the Weber State and University of Utah ski teams (and tennis teams) and more than a few podiums. Among his earlier successes were several first places, including numerous U.S. National Championships in both the downhill and giant slalom. Dean was a member of the U.S. FIS World Cup Team in 1950 and 1951. It was during these years that Dean discovered his spiritual home in the Wood River Valley of Idaho where he maintained a second home for much of his life. Sun Valley and the friends he made there always held a special place in his heart. Dean was on training for the 1952 Olympics when he was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. He was selected for the U.S. Army Ski Team and raced throughout Europe, including several post-Olympic races with the U.S. Olympic Ski Team. More podiums followed in the Downhill, the Slalom and Alpine Combined.
Dean returned to Ogden in 1955 and opened Perkins Ltd, a specialty clothier and sporting goods store. For over 25 years, he was also a manufacturer's rep for Roffe and Demetre Ski Wear, covering nine states in the Mountain West and Midwest, where he played a key role in helping the brands become two of the top ski clothing lines in the United States. Dean also started the Perkins Ltd. Ski School, teaching thousands of people, young and old, to ski and love the sport. He served on the board of the Western Winter Sports Representatives Association. His numerous regional, national and international titles and podiums, his significant commercial contributions to the Utah, Idaho and Intermountain ski industry, and his impact on ski instruction make him one of the West's true sports legends. In 2013, Dean was a deserving inductee into the Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame of the Alf Engen Museum in Park City. Last year, the American West Center and the Marriott Library Special Collections Department at the University of Utah asked Dean to share his story as part of its permanent oral history project of Snow Basin and the development of skiing in Utah.
Among his other accomplishments, Dean climbed the three highest peaks in the Tetons, played tournament tennis in Europe, raced motorcycles, catamarans and a Porsche Speedster on the SCCA circuit. Dean loved his Harleys and the culture of road bikes. He longed for the open road and the perfect stretch of curving blacktop. He thought that riding was the closest thing to skiing and that skiing was the closest thing to flying. He cherished his biker friends and traveled the highways, byways and roadhouses with them from Red Lodge to Four Corners to Sturgis. Nobody could ride that bike like Dean. We will miss his grace and unbounded optimism. He had a spirituality that came from the sense that he was the luckiest guy in the world. Almost to the end, when asked, he would say with that great smile "If I was any better, I would be twins".
Travel safely, Perk, and keep the shiny side up. We love you. Please watch over us.
Dean is survived by his children Kelly (Scott) Buehler and Deano Perkins, his former wife, Janet Bell Riger, and many nephews, nieces and grandchildren that adored him. He was proceeded in death by his parents and two sisters, Genice Roghaar and Fern Grabar.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, September 21, 2016, at 11:30 a.m. at Leavitt's Mortuary, 836 36th Street, Ogden, Utah. The family will meet visitors Tuesday, September 20, 2016, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Leavitt's Mortuary and on Wednesday, prior to services from 10:00 to 11:15 a.m. A celebration of Dean's life will follow the service in the mountains where he learned to fly.
Interment at Washington Heights Memorial Park.
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