Nov. 15, 1937 - Feb. 10, 2011
Robert "Bob" Lee Perkins of Milton-Freewater, passed away Feb. 10, 2011, at the age of 73 years.
A celebration of life will be held on Friday, Feb. 18, 2011, at 2 p.m. at the Milton-Freewater Community Building in Milton-Freewater, with Pastor Duane Geyer and Rev. Ginger Johnston officiating. A potluck lunch will follow. Those who wish may make memorial contributions in memory of Bob Perkins to the Walla Walla Community Hospice in care of the Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home, 902 S. Main, Milton-Freewater, OR 97862.
Robert "Bob" Lee Perkins was born on Nov. 15, 1937, the oldest son of Lee and Leta Perkins, in Milton-Freewater. He attended and graduated from McLoughlin Union High School in 1957. In the fall of 1957 he went to the University of Oregon to play football. After an injury that year he transferred to Eastern Oregon College where he attended school until he joined the U.S. Army in 1959. Bob was stationed at Red Stone Arsenal, Ala., where he played football. During a tour of duty in Germany, he was assigned to the Air Force to play football for the Weisbaden Flyers. In 1962 the flyers won the USAFE continental championship. He was able to travel in Denmark, France, Spain, Holland, Italy, Sweden and England while on leave. After being discharged in 1962, Bob moved back to Milton-Freewater and began his carpentry career with Lee and Bud Perkins. One fond memory he had from those days was building parks on the dam projects.
In 1968 Bob met and married the love of his life, Karen Peer. Proud father of six children, Bob was an avid outdoorsman that was happy to pass on his knowledge of hunting and fishing to his four sons. Bob went on several hunting trips to southern Oregon and Wyoming and many fishing trips to Alaska. He was supportive of his kid's role in sports from cheerleading, to wrestling, to football, to basketball to the Pioneer Posse. Bob was also very proud of his four sons for all participating on state tournament teams at one time or another. From 1962 -1985 Bob served as a football and basketball referee for Blue Mountain Officiating. He was especially proud of being voted to several state basketball and football tournaments. During that time Bob gathered life-long friendships. He was known for always calling a fair game and was well respected. Big Bob's presence was known by his strong, low voice and his no-nonsense ways.
In 1979, Karen and Bob divorced. In 1992 he incorporated his business to include his two sons. He remained in Milton-Freewater and continued in construction until 1996 when he took the back seat in Perkins and Sons Construction, handing the reigns to his sons, Rob and Don. He semi-retired in 2005 but continued to help and could usually be found around the shop until his passing. Bob became a father in 1968 and maintained that role for the rest of his life, after raising his children he took on the role of full-time grandfather in 2006 when he gained custody of his grandson, Trenton. Bob was a member of BPOE #2146 of 47 years, a member of the VFW post #24, and a life member of both the NRA and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
Bob is survived by a grandson, Trenton Withers at the home; two daughters, Kathy and Bob Jossi of Gresham, Ore., and Jennifer Perkins of Milton-Freewater; four sons, Dan and Sherry Perkins of Troutdale, Ore., Don Frey of Milton-Freewater, Dennis and Suzanne Frey of Gresham, Ore., and Rob and Tara Perkins of Milton-Freewater; three brothers, Norman and Joanne Perkins of Pendleton, Dale and Peggy Perkins of Boise, Ida., and Merle and Kathy Perkins of Bellingham, Wash.; two sisters, Nancy and Carl Vollmer and Cory and Mike Hewitt of Walla Walla; and 15 grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. His parents, two brothers, Warren and Allan Perkins, nephew Craig Perkins and a grandson Heath Frey all preceded him in death.