Gregory (Greg) Don Perkins, 71, of Port Charlotte, FL, passed away on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, at Bayfront Health Hospital. He was born in Gary, IN on July 6, 1946, the son of Don and Marilyn Perkins. He spent his childhood years in Tallmadge, OH before his family moved to Litchfield Park, AZ where Greg attended high school. Greg graduated from Agua Fria Union High School in 1964 and attended the University of Arizona for 1 year before enlisting in the U.S. Navy on June 6, 1966.
Greg had always wanted to be on a submarine and his dream did come true when he successfully completed the required Navy's nuclear power training program, qualified in 1970 as a Machinist's Mate - MM2 (SS) and Engineering Laboratory Technician (ELT) aboard the "fast attack" submarine, USS Greenling SSN-614. He was responsible for shipboard radiological controls, chemistry and mechanical reactor operator duties. He was proud to be a sailor and a submariner and serving his country in the "Silent Service" was an experience he wouldn't have traded for the world. Greg also served on the destroyer, USS Basilone DD-824, for a 6 month period while waiting to begin his nuclear power training. During that timeframe, the USS Basilone was diverted from European waters to the Mediterranean to join the 6th Fleet units on alert status just prior to and during the 6 day war between Egypt and Israel and Israel's subsequent attack on the USS Liberty in June of 1967.
Greg's professional career after the Navy was spent working more than 40 years in the commercial nuclear power industry and in the Government nuclear facilities sector as a leader in various radiation protection programs. Greg progressed from an entry level Health Physicist to Health Physics Supervisor to Radiation Protection Manager at commercial nuclear plants in Florida and Arizona. In 1990 he moved on to the Government nuclear sector as a Radiation Protection Consultant for a prime contractor at the DOE Savannah River Site in South Carolina. He obtained his B.S. degree in Nuclear Technology with a Health Physics Option from The University of the State of New York Regents College in June 1992. Greg retired in 2008 after 10 years as the Director of Radiation Protection for a prime contractor at the DOE Hanford Site in Washington State.
After retirement, Greg and his wife moved to Port Charlotte, FL to enjoy warm, sunny weather and waterfront life on a canal just off of Charlotte Harbor. Greg was a very patriotic veteran and was proud to fly the American flag in his yard every day. He was an avid reader since childhood and loved John Wayne movies. He also enjoyed grilling seafood, smoking BBQ, experimenting with new recipes, boating, fishing, going on cruises, playing cribbage, keeping in contact with his submarine brothers, relaxing while watching sunsets from their lanai almost every evening, and spending time with his wife, his children, grandchildren and his spoiled Boykin Spaniels, Mattie Mae and Rusty Nail and the now passed, Molly Brown. He and his wife completed their bucket list item of visiting all 50 states when they travelled to North Dakota in October 2016.
Greg was an active member of the Peace River Sail and Power Squadron and took several of their boating classes, participated in their quarterly coastal cleanups, was a class instructor and had earned 6 merit marks. He was a life member of the U.S. Submarine Veterans (USSVI) organization, served as Vice Commander of the local USSVI Sailfish Base, a member of the Punta Gorda Elks Lodge #2606, the American Legion Post #0110 and a Boykin Spaniel Rescue Volunteer.
Greg is survived by his dedicated and loving wife of 25 years, Carolyn J. Perkins, his son Travis Perkins, daughter Erica Perkins, both of Crystal River, FL, son Christopher Perkins and his wife, Danielle Perkins, four grandchildren: Tyler, Emily, Matthew and Allison, of Bradenton, FL, mother, Marilyn Perkins-Mealhow and her husband, Ronald, of Blue Jay, CA, sister Pam Scofield of Prescott Valley, AZ, sister Jennifer Pena, brother-in-law, Don Pena of Crestline, CA, Uncle Joe and Aunt Joanne Hathaway of St. Augustine, FL, Uncle Larry Witter of Novato, CA, and many cousins. Greg was preceeded in death by his father, Donovan (Don) Lyne Perkins in 1977, his Aunt Jean Hathaway Witter and his Uncle T. D. Perkins.
A Committal Service with Military Honors will be held at Sarasota National Cemetery, 9810 State Rd. 72, Sarasota, FL 34241 on Friday, March 23, 2018 at 1:30 p.m.
A Celebration of Greg's Life will take place on Sunday, March 25, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. with a gathering of family and friends to immediately follow from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Punta Gorda Boat Club, 802 W. Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda, FL 33950 with Dee Roberts officiating. Family and friends are invited to share their stories, memories, and photos of Greg. Hors d'oeuvres and various beverages will also be provided.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to a Veteran's organization of your choice or to the Boykin Spaniel Society via https://www.boykinspanielrescue.org/donate .
Condolence can be made to the family at www.kays-ponger.com/obituary/244686/Gregory-Perkins/
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Greg was a wonderful person to me. I will never forget him. Chris Cole.
Dear Carolyn, we are grieved to learn of Greg's passing. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. Affectionately, Dwaine and Nancy Brown
It is my privilege and honor to consider Greg a personal friend as well as a professional colleague. I first met Greg at Crystal River in the 1980's when after TMI B&W experience brought many of us together. I followed him to Palo Verde and Hanford providing support as he requested but always savoring the personal time getting to know him as a man of honor, integrity, humor, and wisdom. We finished our collaboration at the transition of Savannah River Site to a Fluor contract and Greg left full time employment immediately thereafter. He lived a life of love, accomplishment, and most of all, continually having a positive affect on all who knew him. I regret I didn't stay closer in touch but am eternally grateful for knowing him as a friend first and a respected professional second.
The Perkins Clan, missing from photo Travis, Erica, Jenifer
Greg speaking at Ma's 90th BD Party, Las Vegas
Greg and Carolyn, BlueJay, CA
Greg, age 17
Jennifer and Greg having fun with LED lights, concert, SO, CA
Greg, Carolyn, Seattle 2004
Greg at Ma's 90th BD Party, Las Vegas
Greg Relaxing, BlueJay, CA
Greg, Pam, Jennifer...Morrison, CO
Carolyn and Greg, Kittridge, CO
An introspective moment, Seattle, WA
Greg angling the South Platte River, near Deckers, CO
I rememberGreg catching fire flies in Tallmadge, Ohio. Swimming in the nearby lake on our visit to see Jennifer still in a bassinet. Greg's monkey in Arizona. The Grandparent 50th wedding anniversary held in Joe and Joanne's backyard while Greg was on the Greenling in New London. The Jet and Space age. Nuclear submarines and power plants. Neil Armstrong, John Glenn from Ohio and the promise of the future. I was 16 that summer, after the anniversary party I had some time before I was to leave for a trip to Europe that left from New York. I went to Cape Kennedy to the place where my childhood idols left for space. Greg kindly offered me a place to stay with him and his Navy buddies at their off base house. Easy rider, motorcycles. I learned to drive his stick shift Maverick. I met him on base and toured the Submarine. Greg was that kind of cousin. He was a roll model for me and the kind of person you were proud to know. Marilyn my mother's older sister, my cousins Pam and Jennifer, Carolyn, Travis, Erica, Kelly,Christopher named after my Great Grandfather. The Witter Family sends our love to you and has a special place in our hearts for Greg and his life well lived.
I had the pleasure of working with Greg for a number of years at the Palo Verde nuclear plant and he was a good friend and co-worker. I'd hoped to reconnect with him after I retire this year, but I do have good memories of some fun times we had together - getting together for dinner, game nights and camping at Rocky Point. Our condolences to all his family.
Tom and Wanda Hillmer
It was an honor having known Greg. We enjoyed all gatherings and conversations. He is greatly missed and will never be forgotten.
Carolyn, our heart filled condolences are with you. We will always be here for you.
Lanny & Briana Atherton
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