Francis Perkins, 91, former athletic director at Oak Park and River Forest High School

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Francis James "Jim" Perkins died on March 8, 2013 in Many, La. Born on June 6, 1922 in Chicago, he graduated from Oak Park and River Forest High School and from the University of Dubuque. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Army and served in Germany. In 1950 he transferred to the U.S. Air Force where he retired as a Lt. Colonel.

After returning from Germany in 1946 he returned to college to study pre-med. While at Iowa State, he met the love of his life, Shirley Harvie, whom he married on July 4, 1947.

During his career, his first teaching/coaching positions were in Okaloosa and Sioux City, Iowa, then in Riverside. He retired as athletic director from OPRF, his alma mater. He and Shirley moved to the Toledo Bend area in 1979, built their dream retirement home and became active in the area with the Sabine River Authority and the Lion's Club, among other interests. He was a Mason for over 50 years and a member of First United Methodist Church of Hemphill.

Jim Perkins is survived by Shirley, his wife of 65 years; his children, Jim (Sue) Perkins, Jerry (Teresa) Perkins, Dr. Judy (Bill) Walker; his five grandchildren, Dr. Michelle (Carl) Frantzen, Carter Perkins, Josh Perkins, Kelly Perkins, and Jessica Walker; and his four great-grandchildren, Morgan, Ashby, Cole, and Hayden. He was preceded in death by his parents, Gladys Bradley and Frank Perkins, and his sister, Gladys Perkins Baker.

Visitation was held on March 12 at Starr Funeral Home in Hemphill, Texas, with funeral services on March 13. Memorial contributions would be greatly appreciated by the family and may be made to the Hemphill Public Library, First Methodist Church of Hemphill, Seguin Services Organization of Cicero at, or the charity of your choice.

Additional information may be found at

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Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: April 17th, 2013 7:20 AM

Coach Perkins was my swimming coach at RB my senior year and a Riverside neighbor. I baby sat for the Perkins kids and knew the family very well. A good life, well lived. RIP coach!

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