Dorothy Perkins

Obituary of Dorothy G. Perkins

Dorothy G. Perkins, 92, of Hilton Head Island, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Tuesday, December 5, 2023.


She was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan and attended Michigan State University where she was elected vice president of Associated Woman Students. She also served as president of Mortar Board, senior women’s honorary and was elected to Phi Kappa Phi, national honor society, in her senior year. She received a B.A. degree in 1952.


After graduation, she married Philip Perkins and they resided in the Chicago area for several years. In 1967, they moved to Darien, Connecticut where she taped books for the blind, volunteered with the Girl Scouts, and played a lot of tennis. She was elected to the Darien Board of Education and served two years as its chairman.


In 1981, after moving to White Bear Lake, Minnesota, she enrolled in the University of Minnesota Law School, receiving her J.D. in 1984.


She and her husband moved to Hilton Head Island in 1986 and settled in Hilton Head Plantation. Shortly thereafter, she was elected to the Hilton Head Plantation Board of Directors, serving as secretary and covenants chairman. In 1988, she was appointed to the Town Planning Commission and in 1991, she was elected to the Hilton Head Island Town Council. She retired from the Council in 1997 after serving three terms, the last as mayor pro tem.


Her other community activities included serving as President of the Friends of the Library and Chairman of the Community Development Committee. She also served seven years as a Trustee of the Community Foundation of the Low Country as well as serving on the boards of a number of local organizations including the Hilton Head Island Rotary Club, the League of Women Voters, the Coastal Discovery Museum, and the Audubon Society.


Throughout her life, Dorothy acted to make her community and world a better place. She believed strongly in fairness and justice, and if she saw something that wasn’t right, she’d step up to try and be part of the solution. She had an insatiable curiosity about the world and loved to see and experience new places. Dorothy was a prolific reader with deep knowledge of a wide range of subjects; she’d (very politely) call out anyone who tried to fake it or fudge the facts.


She was an excellent tennis player and an amazing cook; when her daughters attempted to take on the full family Thanksgiving dinner in order to give Dorothy a break, they were astounded at how she had been able not only to make everything delicious, but all come out at the right time with such seeming ease. She was fundamentally pragmatic but loved gadgets and was always interested in the next new thing. Most of all, she was kind.


Dorothy was a beloved wife, mother, and member of the community. She is survived by her husband of 71 years, Philip T. Perkins; her two daughters, Judi of Portsmouth, Virginia, and Susan, of Winston-Salem, North Carolina; a sister, Marilyn DeVree of Holland, Michigan, and a brother, Bruce Glupker, of DeTour Village, Michigan.


The family will hold a private service in her honor. Memorials may be made to the Community Foundation of the Low Country Rotary Club Endowment Fund.

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