Life Story / Obituary
Although G. “Dave” Perkins experienced so many things that enriched his journey, nothing was better than sharing them with his loved ones. He was outgoing and friendly, the sort of person who never met a stranger and made friends wherever he went. Dave was a devoted family man, if ever there was one. He was so delighted to witness his family tree blossom to include numerous branches of loved ones who made him so very proud. He was an outdoorsman through and through who loved to fish, sitting around a campfire and just soaking up the sun. Life will never be the same without Dave here, but he leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that his loved ones will forever cherish.
Life during the first half of the 1940s was focused on WWII as it raged on overseas. There was dancing in the streets with the war’s end in 1945 and from there, America was making the shift to being a nation at peace once again. With the return of countless servicemen and women, the housing market was exploding and the baby boom was underway. Amidst this transitional time was the year 1946 when John Bertrum and Mildred Serita (Uren) Perkins were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as spring blossomed in Detroit, Michigan. The big day finally arrived when they celebrated the birth of their son, Gerald, on May 15th. He was the ninth of 10 children in his family and he was close with all of his siblings including Ronald, Robert, Carole, Linda, Sharron, Sandra, James, Gary and Richard. Dave, as he was usually known, was a typical young boy of his generation. His father worked as a sign painter while his mother was a busy homemaker. Dave attended local schools including Highland Park High School. He left school after the 10th grade since his father’s sudden death greatly impacted him, but he received his GED in 1968. Dave was the lead singer in a band called The Castaways. Together they played fifties music at sock hops, gyms and street corners. The group even made a couple of records!
New and exciting changes were in store for Dave when he met the young woman who would change the course of his life forever. Her name was Carol Johnston and they met on a blind date. After falling in love, they were married on May 14, 1966, in Royal Oak at First Presbyterian Church. Dave worked for the Highland Park Water Department and soon they began welcoming children. Together they were blessed with the births of their three daughters, Lisa, Jodi, and Jennifer.
Dave and Carol raised their girls in a very traditional home where Dave worked while Carol stayed home. Their home was always so much fun and filled with laughter. They listened to lots of music, usually on eight-track or albums. At Christmas time, Dave insisted that they had Johnny Mathis on while decorating the tree. Dinnertime was important and everyone needed to be there whether they wanted to eat or not, it was family time. Many weekends were spent making lasting memories with his best friend, Bob Ashton and his family. Summer vacations were important and they were spent visiting Dave’s brothers and sisters, both near and far. They would pack up the station wagon and hit the road making up silly songs and games along the way. A favorite vacation spot was Traverse City, where they rented a cabin, did plenty of fishing, swimming, had campfires and sang. Family movie nights were common, complete with a big bowl of popcorn and there were also special trips to the video arcade. While his kids were growing up, Dave sold Mr. Bubble for Gold Seal Company. Although his marriage later ended in divorce, Dave was forever grateful for the children they shared.
After leaving Gold Seal Company, Dave took a job at Thornapple Valley. This proved to be quite fateful; as it was there that he met Cindy Crusan. They dated for several years and she brought her two daughters, Samantha and Holly, into his life. Dave helped raise her girls as his own and since he had some experience in that area, he was extraordinary at it. On August 18, 1998, they were married in Charleston, South Carolina. Dave was a very romantic guy and their favorite holiday was Valentine's Day. Dave and Cindy enjoyed cooking together and they even took cooking classes. Dave always came up with new recipes and enjoyed making sauces. Which is so funny because in his younger years he wouldn’t even lift a plate! Though he had 5 girls to raise over the years, Boxer dogs were always a part of life in the Perkins home. He would spoil them as if they were his children and their most recent dog, Vinny, was Dave’s favorite.
In his free time, Dave was a man of many interests who liked being busy. He loved being outdoors, so things like deer hunting with both gun and bow were favorites. Dave had an archery target in the backyard and taught his girls to shoot, too. For the most part, deer camp was about getting together with the guys as opposed to really doing much about getting a deer. Dave loved being outdoors in the summer and enjoyed going to Lake Michigan for an entire day of sand and sun. Dave liked tinkering in his garage and appreciated classic cars. For a time he had a black and white ’57 Ford Fairlane. A lifelong music lover, Dave liked the Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, Joe Cocker, and Billy Joel, and he was often asked to sing at family weddings. He was a meat and potatoes guy who loved a good steak, but he also had a sweet tooth for Sanders cake, pecan pie, oatmeal scotchies and Reese’s peanut butter cups.
In December of 2014, Dave and his loved ones were given a tough pill to swallow when he was diagnosed with liver cancer. He remained optimistic and took the trip of a lifetime to New York City. Dave and Cindy spent an entire week there taking in shows, sightseeing, eating plenty of good food and was even able to share one of his recipes with Bobby Flay! He absolutely loved his time there.
All who knew Dave Perkins would agree that he was truly extraordinary and his laughter and smile could fill a room. He was a beloved brother, husband, father, uncle and friend. He was never one to worry about the things he had, rather, his focus was on how he could give to those around him. Dave’s most prized possession was his family and he lived to protect and love his girls. Deeply loved, he will never be forgotten.
Mr. Gerald “Dave” D. Perkins, aged 69, of Wyoming passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his family and Vinny on November 16, 2015. He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Mildred Perkins; brothers, Ronald and Robert Perkins; and sisters, Carole Violetto, Linda Douglass, Sharron Goltry, and Sandra Oliver. Dave is survived by his loving wife, Cindy; children, Lisa (Christopher) Yerke, Jodi (Kenneth Lancaster) Perkins, Jennifer (Darrin) Lackey, Samantha (Chris) Reidmiller, and Holly (Carl) Prowant; grandchildren, Shelby, Katy, Austin, Wyland, Layne, Gabriella, Mason, Noah, and Caleb; and siblings, James Perkins, Gary (Oril) Perkins, and Richard (Beulah) Perkins. Also surviving are his mother and father in-law, Larry (Shirley) Crusan; sisters-in-law, Lisa (Alan) Wright and Gena (Chris) Jarosch; brother-in-law, Mike Crusan; and many nieces and nephews. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at Noon on Saturday, November 21, 2015 at Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. N.W. Friends are invited to visit with the family from 11 AM until the time of the service. Contributions in his memory may be made to Good Days Chronic Disease Fund (https://www.gooddaysfromcdf.org/donate/. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to read Dave’s lifestory, archive a memory, photo, or sign the guestbook online.