Louis Perkins(1920 - 2014)

Louis C. Perkins

May 4, 1920 - February 2, 2014

Louis Case Perkins was born in Colfax, Washington on Perkins Avenue to Sumner Ewart Perkins and Ethel Case Perkins. The Perkins and Ewart families were early pioneers in Whitman County and his grandfather, James A. Perkins, built the first house (a log cabin) in Colfax in 1870. In 1884 their Victorian home was built. Both have been restored and have been owned by the Whitman County Historical Society since 1972. Louie was very proud that his childhood home is a Registered National Historic Place.

Louie experienced a very fulfilling childhood in Colfax. He was an Eagle Scout and went by train to the 1937 Jamboree in Washington, D.C. as Senior Patrol Leader of the Inland Empire and Spokane Area Boy Scouts. He was a natural leader and was very involved in school and athletic activities at Colfax High School prior to his graduation in 1938. He attended Washington State University and again used his leadership skills in many university and fraternity activities. Louie studied Business Administration and Advanced Military while also working at the Pullman J.C. Penney store. Upon graduation, he received his commission and began his military service in World War II.

Louie was justly proud of being a veteran. He served with the army as a Military Intelligence Officer in the Pacific Theater of Operations. This assignment took him to such combat areas as Saipan, Tinian, Guam and Iwo Jima as well as to Japan right after the war. During the Korean Conflict he was recalled to duty and was assigned to the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

Before leaving for the Pacific in 1943, he was stationed at Camp Adair where he met his future wife, Marlys Hartgrave. They were married on January 19, 1946 and Louie soon began his career with the J.C. Penney Company. During his 35 years with the company, he managed stores in Caldwell, Idaho (1955 - 1959), Portland (1959-1965), Reno (1965-1968), Salem (1968-1974), Honolulu (1974-1977) and Eugene (1977-1980) where he retired in December, 1980. In all of the communities, Louie was a leader in civic and business organizations and also enjoyed working with the J.C. Penney Government Relations Program. While in Salem, he served as president of the Salem Downtown Association and as a board member of the Oregon Retail Council. Louie was also a longtime Rotarian.

Louie was an avid sports fan and he and Marlys thoroughly enjoyed attending Duck football games during their 30 years in Eugene (much to the chagrin of their "Beaver" daughter!) However, he would wear red socks under his Duck gear when the Cougars came to town! Louie and Marlys loved to attend as many of their grandsons' activities as possible because family was their number one priority.

Louie was preceded in death by his wife Marlys in 2006. He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law Cindy and Mark Mueller of Salem, his grandson Dr. Elliott Mueller and his wife Suzanne of Tacoma, his grandson Evan Mueller of Portland and his sister and brother-in-law Catherine and Jack Stoltz of Portland.

The family would like to thank Farmington Square for their excellent care these last 5 years in Salem as well as Hospice Care of the Northwest for their care and support in his last weeks.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, February 9, 2014 at Illahe Hills Country Club (3376 Country Club Dr. S.) from noon to 2:00 pm. Contributions may be made to the Perkins House c/o Whitman County Historical Society/ P.O. Box 67/ Colfax, WA 99111. Arrangements are by Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.

Funeral Home

Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service and Oakleaf Crematory
605 Commercial St SE Salem, OR 97301
(503) 3642257

Published in StatesmanJournal on Feb. 5, 2014