U.S. Navy veteran loved to travel

LYNNFIELD — George William “Bill” Perkins II was born in Salem and raised in Melrose.

George married Mildred Boyle in 1951 and moved with his wife and his three sons: George III, Clifton and Mark to Lynnfield in 1956 into a home that he and Mildred built. They lived in that home for over 60 years. He loved the town of Lynnfield and his home.

He served in World War II as a Navy Seaman on a tanker in the Pacific Arena. He was a gunnery instructor and remained an excellent shot all of his life.

George had many jobs over the years. His first real venture was as a filmmaker and travelogue lecturer. He filmed in many countries and then traveled across the country on the lecture circuit. He was a protégé of the world-renowned Burton Holmes. He then ventured into various sales jobs, eventually creating his own company which provided financial services for over 40 years.

As a child, he met a cowboy named Dick Randall who owned a ranch in Montana called the OTO. Dick inspired George to become a cowboy and even though George lived in New England his entire life, the cowboy hat, belt buckles, bolo ties, boots and shirts became his lifelong signature. He turned his love of photography into a hobby of photographing birds. He was an amateur historian and devoted the last ten years of his life to writing. His book, An American Journey of Travels and Friendships was published in December of 2019. He was working on his second book at the time of his passing.

He loved to travel, inspired by his father George W. Perkins and his mother, Daisy Chase Perkins. He traveled to every state with his parents before he graduated from high school, except for Alaska and Hawaii. George and Daisy believed that travel was an invaluable education. George continued to travel and loved every country and found beauty and wonder in each. But his favorite place was his home in New England.

He was an adventurer in both travel and business and he saw opportunity everywhere. George loved organizations and clubs and enjoyed being in many. He was a founding member of the Rotary Club, Masons and endless financial memberships as well as being both a professor and trustee at Curry College. He was a man of many talents and loved the startup of every work journey. He treated every person as an equal and was proud of that and instilled it in each of his three sons. Friendship was prized only second to family. While he outlived most of his friendships, he remained in touch with those even from high school.   

George was born to Daisy and George on Sept. 10, 1926. He enjoyed tracking back his heritage and examining the family tree. His book expanded upon his love of the family history which encompassed New Hampshire and Vermont and the story of a log cabin with one room for eleven relatives.

He was a man of honor, found something good in every person, loved to laugh and was a master raconteur and could tell a story that would keep his audience attentive to the end. He was devoted to his family and his books often reflect that journey. His smile was contagious. His generosity was legendary. He lived a long and happy life and felt that every day was a special day; to say he lived the life he wanted says it all.

George died peacefully at home with all three sons, his granddaughter Rachel, and his great-granddaughter Vivienne by his side on May 20, 2024. Services to honor George are private. To sign the online tribute, visit RobinsonFuneralHome.com.