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Obituary for Dean R. Perkins

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Dean R. Perkins

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 twenty five years, he was also a manufacture’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 at Leavitt’s Mortuary, 836 36th Street, Ogden, Utah, Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 11:30 AM. The family will meet visitors Tuesday, September 20, 2016 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM and on Wednesday, prior to services from 10:00 to 11:15 AM. A celebration of Dean’s life will follow the service in the mountains where he learned to fly.

Interment at Washington Heights Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, hug someone you love.

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Service Schedule

Visitation Information

Date: Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Leavitt's Mortuary


836 36th Street , , Ogden, UT, 84403

Service Information

Date: Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Leavitt's Mortuary


836 36th Street , , Ogden, UT, 84403

Cemetery Information

Date: Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Washington Heights Memorial Park


4500 Washington Blvd , , Ogden, UT,

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Timeline for Dean R. Perkins

Born: August 5, 1928
Died: September 10, 2016

Condolences for Dean R. Perkins

Carl Buckland posted on 9/22/16

Dean was a "best friend" to hundreds of people. I am proud to be one of them. I wrote this on Facebook, and will share it here: In case you haven't heard, Dean Perkins went in search of eternal powder on September 10, 2016. He lived a long and full life, setting an example for all of us on how to live each and every day like it is the only one that matters. Dean told me "This is the best time in history to be alive. Live it to the hilt and you will have no regrets." I doubt that Dean had any regrets on that accord. While gathering legions of friends along the way, he skied every day that he could, he raced at a world cup level, he drove fast cars and loved a dozen women (who loved him right back). He fathered fine children, made and lost fortunes, never lost sight of "what was cool and what was not." He flew planes and piloted sleek boats. He rode his Harleys like a kid, laughed at danger (and often paid the price). He practiced his Manta: He lived life to the hilt! And he did it with a level of integrity and generosity that will serve as an example for all who had the great privilege of knowing him as a friend. I have for some reason had Dean in my mind a lot the last few days. Funny how that happens. Maybe our best friends don't really leave us, they just change the way they communicate with us. I love you Dean, thanks for everything. Carl Buckland


DEANNA PERKINS posted on 9/21/16

Out condolences to Deans family. Although my husband has known Dean for many years, I did not get to know him until he moved next to us in Eden, and that was so fun, we had many a fun dinner and or wine. Loved to hear his stories and I know he was sad that we moved away 4 years ago. We are so happy that we had a chance to visit on his birthday, as we were staying in Huntsville awhile this summer. I know he had a wonderful full filling life but he will be missed. Tom and Deanna Perkins


Ben M. Ferro posted on 9/21/16

Kelly and Deano, we have never met; however, I can sympathize with what you are going through. It's very sad to lose a parent... my deepest condolences to you both and the family. Your Dad was a legend and a mentor in many ways. I was very lucky to have worked for your father over the years, starting on Riverdale road in 1959 and 1960, and then later working for him on 24th St. Your dad brought a little European culture to Ogden and to the people that worked for him. He had the personality to inspire and bring out the best in people. I learned the clothing, climbing, skiing and tennis business from him. I have great memories of the Porsche and the yellow T-bird....driving one or the other to the post office. Your dad was a leader when it came to skiing. If you were skiing with him at Alta or Snow Basin or Sun Valley, Dean was always the leader of the pack. If you could stay up with him on the hill, it was a great fun workout. He made skiing look so easy when he was on the hill. He was always the life of the party in the store and on the hill. You can be very proud of your dad. He was very well respected in the Ogden business community and by the many friends that knew him well. I tried to reach out to him the last time I was in Ogden, but never was able to make a connection. I wish now that I had made a greater effort. May your Dad, my longtime friend, rest in peace.


Peggy Goddard Puckett posted on 9/21/16

Dean played a roll in my love for ski racing. Along with my brothers, Fox and Rick Goddard, we supported Dean's downtown store and loved seeing him at Snow Basin in our early years. I still have a garment bag from Dean's Store, Perkins, Ltd.! He always had stories to tell us. I know his soul will be lighting up the heavens. It was a pleasure to have know him.


Ashley Payan posted on 9/20/16

Deano, so sad to hear about your dad's passing. He was truly a lovely, fun, electric person. What a smile- and that laugh! I'll remember it always. I have many, happy memories of time spent with you both. Take care my friend. Sending you & your family love and light in this difficult time. Ashley Payan


Brandon Cole Hansen posted on 9/20/16

Kelly and Deano, I remember growing up in Dean's house as being a great part of my childhood. Going for rides in the many sports cars and not having a 3rd seat to sit in. The airplane rides, the catamaran trips, the motorcycle rides around Ogden Valley, ridding in a backpack while skiing, running around and refilling the tennis machine, and swimming at the pool side. I remember on Easter, when my Mother set loose a dozen bunnies in the back yard, and the fireworks on the 4th of July. Going to movies at the Cinedome in Riverdale, last movie I remember was "9 to 5." I also remember super gluing my finger tips to Dean's desk, and putting his keys in the outlet in the dining room. I believe that burn mark is still in that dining room to this day. Your dad will always hold a place in my heart, I'm so sorry for your loss. I always enjoyed my visits with Dean. I'm sad that he's gone so soon. If you'd like to share stories sometime, feel free to contact me, I'd really enjoy it. Sincerely, -Brandon


Mitch Lucero posted on 9/20/16

I'm so sorry for your loss! Dean always took me under his wing when I was going through hard times. I really enjoyed the time I got to spend with him! The great memories of the long talks we used to have will always be one of the highlights of my life. He was a great legend and he will surely be missed. RIP My Friend! It was a pleasure knowing you! Chow.


moe brunell posted on 9/19/16

I was His mechanic on his twin comanchee for a few years.He was a great man and easy to work for, my condolences to all his family.


Ric Hammond posted on 9/19/16

I had the opportunity to work for Dean at Perkins Ltd in the early stages of the store when I was a senior at Ogden High. He had an impact on me for clothes (Natural Shoulder), skis and Porsches. I often rode with him in his Speedster up Ogden Canyon and that was the beginning of my infatuation for Porsches! Dean was a great example to me for hard work and quality. It was apparent in his work ethic and the quality of goods he carried in the store. He lived life to the fullest! Our condolences to the family, Ric and Claudia Hammond


trina posted on 9/19/16

Jeff and Bonnie, so sad to see Deans picture in the paper. He will be missed, and especially on a blue-bird day on the ski hill as we all looked forward to seeing "the silver fox" skiing on a sunny day, no hat or helmet, every hair in perfect place, in his easily identifiable style of carving his turns. Love Trina Lepas White


Deborah Cutrubus Kukal posted on 9/19/16

Dean was such a class act, loved listening to his stories, he lived his life on his own terms, Happy and Fun. Going to miss him dearly.


Curt Landes posted on 9/19/16

I am so sorry to hear of Dean's passing. We had so many fun times together. It didn't matter if we were skiing, riding motorcycles or just sitting around telling stories, it was always a blast just being with him. Everything he did was with style and grace. Unfortunately, i will not be able to attend Dean's service because Cyndee is having a knee replacement in SLC on Tuesday and she will be released and coming home on Wednesday. However, our thoughts are with you as you celebrate his wonderful life and our memories of knowing such a great man will never fade.


Jim Stegen posted on 9/19/16

Dean Perkins was a long time friend and we made some special memories together through the years. I will truly miss him. My heart felt condolences to his family. Jim Stegen.


Sandi Stacey posted on 9/19/16

Kelly, Deano, & Family, It was with a saddened surprise that I learned of the death of Dean. I know that it is always a terrible shock when someone so close to you passes away. Ron & I had such great times with him on ski trips and of course at Lake Powell. He was always a delight to be with. I send my heartfelt sympathy and the hope that the kind words of your family and friends will make this difficult time a bit easier to bear. Love to you all, Sandi Stacey


Ava Tracy posted on 9/19/16

Dean Perkins was a very kind and generous man. Always smiling and honest with me in his business dealings at Alpine. He helped me on more than one occasion with my Special Olympics Ski Team. My sympathy to the family.


Kristin Kawaguchi Shuman posted on 9/19/16

Deano and Kelly, Thinking of you both during this difficult time. My sincere condolences. I have such fond memories of your dad. He was such a great tennis player and I'll always remember the competitive doubles matches. Even though it's been years since I have seen your dad or the two of you, I think of your family often.


Vickie Munson posted on 9/18/16

Brittany Perkins Brown, I am so sorry for your loss. I know how much this man meant to you and how much you loved him. God bless you from this time forward and remember.... You are loved by many and always will be. You are never alone as long as one member of our family.... Your family... Is living. You are a kind caring person that has survived so much in your life that was not of your own doing. Keep on putting one foot in front of the other and going forward, never looking back. There are so many people that know your story and are so proud of you and the obstacles you have overcome in your own. Not many people could have done what you have accomplished with such grace. Too life


Suzanne Harris Rytting posted on 9/18/16

To my ski buddy and friend Dean: What fun we all had in those long ago days, Snowbasin, Alta, Sun Valley and Jackson, precious memories! I will see you in the clouds racing down the stielhung to victory. Good Memories my Friend, Suzy Harris Rytting


Shar Ewing posted on 9/17/16

Hi Kelly this is Shar. Kamie told me of Deans passing. I am just heartbroken. He was larger than life and I always loved him. He touched everyone's lives in such a manner they always felt beyond blessed to have had him be a part of their lives. My deepest condolences love and prayers are sent to you, Deano and your family. I will never forget the zest for life, the cherished memories and I am a better person as are everyone's lives he touched for knowing him. I am here should you need anything. 385-495-0201. He will forever be the angel on your shoulder.


Debbie Jones Knies posted on 9/17/16

Dear Kelly, Scott, and Deano, What a beautiful tribute to your dad, I'm sorry for your loss, and know what an impact he had on so many lives, including mine. Dean was not only a great friend to me, but a mentor. I have so many good memories of times shared with Dean. He really did know how to live life to the fullest. God bless your family. Debbie Jones Knies


Billie Bachman-Manning posted on 9/16/16

Deano, I'm sorry for your dad's passing. I hope you find comfort in knowing he is visiting with a great man once again. My condolences! Much love, Billie Bachman-Manning