DeMar B Perkins, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather, passed away on March 13, 2018 at the age of 99 in Cedar Hills, UT, surrounded by his daughter, daughter-in-law, and granddaughters.
DeMar was born on January 11, 1919 in Monticello, UT to Daniel and Mary Cornelia Adams Perkins.
His sister, Norma, was born about four years earlier. He also had three step-siblings from his father’s previous marriage, Ula, Kloyd, and Lloyd.
He was raised in Monticello and loved the area. As kids, they owned horses and practically lived on them. He once sold one of his horses and bought a bicycle, the only bike in Monticello, but it didn’t take the place of his horses.
As a boy and young man, he was active and busy. Some of the jobs he had as a boy were milking cows, putting up hay, and building reservoirs.
He ran track and competed in boxing in high school and was never defeated. He learned to play tennis, baseball, and basketball, which he played in college and on town teams later.
During World War II, he was drafted into the horse cavalry and sent to Kansas, where he said they taught him to ride horses the army way.
He was made a gunner on a heavy weapons squad and earned the distinction of receiving the expert rifle badge.
A year later, he was transferred to the Army Air Corp, where he was made Sergeant after graduating from the aerial gunners school.
He was a born leader and came up with several ideas and tools that helped the soldiers. He was soon promoted to Master Sergeant.
Some new concepts in the army were created, and they were shipped out in small groups to Will Rodgers Field for reassignment and restricted to the air base.
Here he was standing on the steps of the USO recreation building when he “saw the cutest little WAC walk by.” They started dating, and he and Helen Mildred Luther were soon married on March 18, 1944.
He was still in the Army for a time when Helen stayed with her parents while expecting their first child. Their first son, Larry, was born in Rochester, MN.
When the war ended, they moved back to DeMar’s hometown of Monticello, UT. There they had two more children, Daniel and Kristine, and they then settled into many years of enjoying life in southern Utah.
They were later sealed for time and all eternity, with their children, in the Mesa Arizona Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on their wedding anniversary in 1959.
DeMar worked as a farmer and as a salesman selling mobile homes, cars, and insurance. He was also in the uranium and gold mining business, teaching his kids and grandkids how to pan for gold.
He loved to create and invent, from little gadgets around the house to a loading trailer which was manufactured and sold around the country.
He loved to read, study and take notes and wrote several writings on his thoughts and beliefs.
He was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served in the Elders Quorum Presidency, the local President of the Seventies over missionary work, and High Priest Group Leader.
He and Helen served six church missions, four of which were stake missions mostly on the Navajo Reservation, and two full time missions in North Carolina.
DeMar loved his family, both from the past and present. He loved to share stories and histories about his parents and grandparents and was proud to be the descendent of a Hole-in-the-Rock pioneer grandfather, Benjamin Perkins.
He loved San Juan County, especially Monticello and the mountains there. He taught us all to look for the Blue Mountain Horsehead.
In 2008, DeMar and Helen moved to American Fork, UT to be closer to family. They often took weekend trips back to visit Monticello. They loved to gather with family, and DeMar would light up when he heard that a new great-grandchild or great-great-grandchild was to be born.
We will miss his enthusiasm for life and the strength and stubbornness he had that helped make us all who we are today.
He is preceded in death by his wife Helen, parents, sister, three half siblings, one granddaughter, and two great-grandchildren.
He is survived by their children Larry (Muriel) Perkins of American Fork, UT, Dan (Sue) Perkins of Sandy, UT, Kris (Rick) Ellison of American Fork, UT, 14 grandchildren, 48 great-grandchildren, 14 great-great-grandchildren and two on the way.
Funeral services were held Monday, March 19 in American Fork, UT.
Interment at the Monticello, UT Cemetery.