Clearwater Beach Loses A Pioneer
By Anne McKay Garris
Today old-timers are mourning the loss of a very helpful member of the Clearwater and Clearwater Beach community. David G. Perkins, Jr., who came to Clearwater in 1925 from Camden, South Carolina, passed away on Wednesday, January 13, 2010. He was 90 years old.
Mr. Perkins was a graduate of North Ward School, Clearwater Junior and Senior High School, and the American Institute of Laundering and National Institute of Dry Cleaning. After three years in the Coast Guard, he joined his father, David G. Perkins, Sr., at Clearwater Laundry, which he operated for forty years.
A member of the Rotary Club of Clearwater since 1946, Mr. Perkins was a Paul Harris Fellow, and the recipient of the first annual Alfred P. Marshall Award. He was president of the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce in 1958, and the Pinellas Safety Council in 1969 through 1972. He was on the Board of Directors of the First National Bank of Clearwater, and he was one of the first to be named Mr. Clearwater for his outstanding contributions to the Clearwater business and civic community.
As a member of the Clearwater Historical Society, Mr. Perkins was involved in the restoration of the Plumb House, now used as a Clearwater Historical Museum. After his retirement from the laundry business, David became the person to ask when questions about the history of Clearwater came up. Always genial and unassuming, his untiring contributions to the community made him widely known.
An avid sailor and traveler, Mr. Perkins took on the responsibility of publishing the memoirs of his friend, Clark Mills. Mr. Mills was a local boat builder who created the world famous Optimist Pram for young sailors. Mr. Perkins was also a supporter of the Clearwater Community Sailing Center.
Remaining members of his family include his wife of 21 years, Betty McGraw Perkins; his son, Dick Perkins; his daughter, Sally Perkins Kitchen; 3 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. His first wife, Naomi Q. Perkins, and his son, David Grier Perkins III, predeceased him.
Services were held Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension.
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