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Donald Perkins

1928 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Donald Perkins Obituary
Donald Perkins

1928 - 2015 Donald Perkins passed away at The Vermont Veterans' Home in Bennington, VT on July 28, 2015 after a long illness. He was 86 years old. Born in Boston, MA on October 23, 1928, Donald was the son of the late Genevieve (McLaughlin) and the late Harold A. Perkins. After proudly serving in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean Conflict, Don finished his education on the GI Bill, graduating from Emerson College in 1955 with a Bachelor's Degree in Literary Interpretation. During his 45 year career, Don was happily and steadily employed as a professional stage actor both on and off-Broadway, as well as in repertory theaters throughout the country. He played leading roles in classical plays by Anton Chekhov, Eugene Ionesco, Arthur Miller, Sean O'Casey, Eugene O'Neill, William Shakespeare, George Bernard Shaw, John Steinbeck, and Tennessee Williams. He performed several roles in the Tony award winning play, "Borstal Boy" on Broadway and opposite Steve Allen in "The Wake." Don was also an accomplished singer and dancer and performed in many musicals. He most enjoyed playing Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof" and John Adams in "1776." He played the role of Adams nearly 1,800 times, including the Bicentennial Celebration in Philadelphia. He reached his 1,776th performance at Williamstown Theater Festival in June, 1991 under the direction of Peter Hunt. Upon his retirement in 1993, he and his wife, Carol, moved from Greenwich Village to the Berkshires. Don lent his support to Pittsfield High School productions under Ralph Hammann and Drury High School musicals under "Doc" Radin. He also served as lector at the former Our Lady of Incarnation Church, St. Anthony of Padua Church (now St. Elizabeth of Hungary) in North Adams, and St. Patrick's Church in Williamstown. Don enjoyed skiing at Jiminy Peak, Bromley Mountain, and Stratton Mountain. He participated in the Mt. Greylock Labor Day races for several years until 2007. In addition to his unforgettable stage performances, Don will be remembered in the hearts of many for his infectious laughter, his winning smile, his sparkling sense of humor and his compassion for humanity and all in the animal world, especially his beloved cat, Leo. He was an avid Mets fan. Surviving are his loving wife, Carol, his son, David Perkins, his godson, Matthew Palin, his stepson, Scott May and wife, Mary, his stepdaughter, Christie Jessee and husband, Erick, six step-grandchildren, his brother-in-law, Michael Stevens, and his sisters-in-law, Janet Perkins, Peggy Stevens, and Reenee Stevens. He was predeceased by his brother, Robert Perkins, his brother-in-law, Jack Stevens, and his former wife, Gittel Perkins. SERVICES: There are no calling hours. Burial is private. A farewell gathering will be held at St John's Episcopal Church, 35 Park Street, Williamstown, MA on Wednesday, August 5, 2015 at 12:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make a general contribution to The Vermont Veterans Home or one earmarked for the Namaste Program at The Vermont Veterans Home in care of Flynn and Dagnoli-Montagna Home for Funerals, 74 Marshall Street, North Adams, MA 01247. The family expresses deepest appreciation to the excellent staff at the Vermont Veterans' Home and Fillmore Pond for the fine care given to Donald.
Published in Bennington Banner on Aug. 1, 2015
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