BERLIN - Allen M. Perkins, 61, of Paradise Mountain Road in Berlin, passed away peacefully in his own home on Thursday, January 9, 2014, after a courageous two-year battle with brain cancer. He handled his cancer and multiple surgeries with courage, hope and devout faith. He was embraced during those two years by the peace and love of God and was cared for by his devoted and loving wife and family.
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Born in Barre, Vermont, on September 30, 1952, Allen was the second oldest son of Kenneth F. and Ervine (Pero) Perkins. He grew up in Barre and graduated from Williamstown High School.
Allen worked for the Vermont State Housing Authority for more than 12 years as a property maintenance superintendent where he reluctantly retired due to ill health. Before that, he worked for many years at Berlin and Barre Town elementary schools where he was very well-liked and respected by all of the children and staff he interacted with. Over time, Al gave numerous children a special nickname and many of them, now adults, still remember that name with great delight. Al was a skilled bus driver, and safely transporting children to and from school was his clear focus. In the early part of his career, he worked in several different capacities in the Barre granite and quarrying industry. He owned and operated AJ's Gym in Barre. Dedication to work and others was one of Al's greatest hallmarks. He had a great love for others, young and old, and approached each job as if it was missionary work. He treated every individual he encountered with great love, respect and dedication. Helping others to understand their individual value and to achieve and live the best life they could was of utmost importance to him.
Allen leaves behind his wife, soul mate and best friend, Carol Shults-Perkins, of Berlin. They were married at St. Monica Catholic Church in Barre and were a happy and committed couple for 24 years. They cleared the land and created a lovely, private and peaceful home in the woods of Berlin overlooking Route 12 South. Friends and family have always been welcomed in their home. Hosting and feeding others was one of Al's greatest delights.
Allen was previously married to Janice Wheeler Alexander, the mother of his two children.
Allen is also survived by his beloved children, son Jeffrey (Samantha) Perkins of East Barre, daughter Nicole Perkins of Barre Town and stepdaughter Megan Lovely of Plainfield. His six grandchildren, Lydia and Ace Perkins, Gage and Colton Perkins, and Timothy and Taylor Lovely, lovingly called him "Papa" and were shining lights in his life. Recently, a great-grandson, Camryn Allen Perkins, was welcomed to the family.
Allen loved his wife, children and grandchildren with profound and deep devotion.
He leaves behind his mother, Ervine Perkins, of Rowan Court. He was a dedicated son for all of his life and her guardian for the past three years. Until his illness, he visited his mother at the nursing home daily. He is survived by his six siblings, Kenneth of Williamstown, Bruce, Ronald and Joan of Barre, Dennis (Rose) of North Carolina and Mary (Don) Edson of Berlin.
His wife's sisters, Debra Anderson (his Godmother, surgical and cancer treatment guardian angel, and a source of strength throughout his illness), Kimberlee Clark and Mary Hickory, and their families were Allen's extra special family, too. He was lovingly cared for by them, his wife and children throughout the final weeks of his illness.
Allen was predeceased by his father, Kenneth.
Allen was known by many as a good friend, hard worker and generous man. He was a true "peach" of a man who made lifelong friends and acquaintances easily. Al leaves behind many special friends and colleagues who impacted his life greatly and for whom he had great regard and affection. A man of many gifts and talents (a jack-of-all-trades), there was no handyman project he could or would not tackle. His skills and hobbies included woodworking, carpentry, mechanics, automotive body work, rebuilding old lawn tractors for pulling, metal detecting, health, fitness and body building, gardening, property maintenance and so much more. Al loved the Maine seacoast and the yearly camping trips he made there with Carol. He was so proud of his RV camper restoration project and wowed campers alike when he showed them his handiwork. Al loved a good cup of coffee and a real old fashioned homemade donut. If you were in need of a sweet treat, Al always had a number of choices in his truck which he generously shared. He was always ready with a funny childhood story or to engage in conversation. Curiosity could have been his middle name. Life's joys and sorrows fascinated Al and often caused him to want to discuss such matters in depth. He readily volunteered his time to help others, his church and his wife's nonprofit organization. Al was deeply loved and loved deeply in return. He will be missed for all eternity.
Pruneau-Polli Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. There will be no calling hours. Allen was a member of St. Monica Catholic Church where the family hopes you will join in a celebration of his life on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 11 a.m. A private springtime burial will take place in the Berlin Corners Cemetery.
Contributions in Allen's memory may be made to: St. Monica Catholic Church, 79 Summer St., Barre; Central Vermont Adult Basic Education Inc., 46 Washington St., Barre; Rowan Court Patient Activity Fund, 378 Prospect St., Barre; or Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice, 600 Granger Road in Berlin.
Pruneau-Polli Funeral Home Inc
58 Summer St Barre, VT 05641
Published in Times Argus from Jan. 11 to Jan. 13, 2014