Loss of longtime volunteer Perkins leaves big gap in Perry athletics

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Homer Perkins, perhaps the biggest supporter of Perry sports over the years, is honored before Perry's State Quarterfinal game at the 2016 State Basketball Tournament as the Perry "Fan of the Game." He is presented an official game ball by Brett Nanninga of the IHSAA.

Homer Perkins

Longtime volunteer and supporter of Perry High School athletics Homer Perkins passed away Sunday evening. Services will be held later this week.

Homer was heavily involved with the PHS athletic programs, having devoted much time and resources to the Bluejays and Jayettes over the past 45 years.

Recently retired PHS Activities Director Tom Lipovac worked with Perkins in each of his 43 years at the high school and compiled a list of all Homer’s involvements and the many honors he received for his selfless service.

Homer served as the voice of Perry Bluejay baseball and/or the official scoreboard operator for nearly every home baseball game since 1980.

In addition, Homer donated the funds for the press box from which he worked at Progressive Field as well as the Jayette Softball Field press box.

During the fall, Homer served as the crew chief for the Bluejays football chain crew. He worked every varsity contest for the past forty-five years except for games missed one season due to a sideline injury.

During the winter, Homer served as the scoreboard operator for ninth grade, junior varsity, and varsity girls basketball games and repeated the duties serving as the scoreboard operator for ninth grade, junior varsity, and varsity boys basketball games.

On his nights not working as a volunteer, Homer was present as a fan at many home and away events.

Homer’s honors included:

Iowa High School Athletic Directors Association Service Award

Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Service Award

Iowa High School Athletic Association Volunteer Service Award

Iowa High School Athletic Association “Fan of the Game” State Tournament Recognition

PCSD Military Appreciation Night Honorary Football Team Captain

PCSD Bluejay Service Award

Homer served in the U.S. Air Force from 1963-1967 as an E-4 (Airman 1st Class). Stationed at March Air Force Base, his tour of duty included Okinawa and more than 50 trips around the world.

Lipovac had nothing but praise for one of the true fixtures on the Perry sports scene.

“While Homer Perkins was a quiet, unassuming man, his actions and his willingness to be of service to our youth leaves a lasting legacy,” he said. “He was a strong, positive supporter of our students’ achievements and a vital member of the Perry Community School District Student Activities Department. Homer demonstrated ‘The Bluejay Way,’ acting with character and serving others.”

Perkins achieved a kind of legendary status among generations of Perry athletes, and he set the standard for devotion that all Perry sports fan should strive to emulate.

“One of the ultimate tributes in athletics is to be recognized by a single name,” Lipovac said. “When the name Homer is mentioned regarding Perry athletics, Bluejay and Jayette coaches, players and supporters know that reference is being made to Homer Perkins. Every community would benefit from having a Homer in their program. The Perry Community School District is thankful that we had Homer Perkins.”

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