Rowan Penrose "Perk" Perkins was born in New York City on May 25, 1925, and died at home in Newark, on April 20, 2008, after a brief battle with acute leukemia.
He was a veteran of World War II, having joined the Navy under the V-12 program. He graduated in February 1946 from Purdue University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He was with the Naval Reserve until 1948. He earned his MBA in 1971 from the University of Delaware.
He worked for 10 years for Riley Stoker Corp. in Worcester, Mass., working on all phases of boiler design, sales, construction, operation, testing and troubleshooting. In 1956, he began working for E.I. DuPont de Nemours Co. in the Engineering Services Division in Newark, retiring in 1991 after 35 years. He worked on many projects including the distribution of power costs to various products on all Textile Fibers Dept. sites, served as chair of the Power Standards Comm. for 12 years, chaired the Dowtherm (high temperature heat transfer media) Comm. for 20 years, conducted a successful demonstration of a coal-water slurry burn in an industrial boiler for the Electric Power Research Institute, testified before a U.S. Senate committee for the Industrial Boiler Owners Assoc., did a lot of work with company plants on energy conservation, developed a project with the Dept. of Energy for a high temperature heat transfer for a non-combustion gas turbine, served on several American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Power Standards Committees including the executive committee, and authored over 30 technical papers. He was a nationally recognized expert on the use of reverse air fabric filters to all but eliminate particular emissions from coal-fired boilers. In 1991, Perkins was elected a Life Fellow in ASME. Through his work, on the 200th anniversary of the DuPont Co. in October 2002, the Brandywine River Powder Mills became an ASME Historical Landmark, the only one in Delaware.
After retiring, he started his own consulting business. In conjunction with another firm supported by government AID funds, Perkins gave talks on energy conservation to companies in several Eastern European countries, including the Ukraine, Romania and the Czech Republic. He also worked for the International Executive Service Corps (IESC) doing energy conservation training of three engineers in Nizhy Novgorod, Russia, in 1995. He was a member of several professional organizations and societies. He was also a member of Clan Gunn Society and Clan Montgomery Society International.
He was the son of the late Rowan Penrose Perkins and the late Marian Dowkontt Perkins Aiken. He was predeceased by his infant son, Victor M. Perkins. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Miriam M. "Monty" Perkins; his children, Carol Landis of St. Louis, Mo., Katherine Lafferty of Brighton, Co., Rowan M. Perkins of Stevensville, Md., Eric C. Perkins of Elkton, Md., Patricia P. Waldorf of Newark, Daniel R. Perkins of Bear and Shelley Perkins of Wilmington. He was the grandfather of Jennifer and B. Christopher Landis; Shawn, Michael, Richard and Heather Lafferty; Julie Lyons and R. Jonathan Perkins; Kelly, Erica and Lisa Perkins; David B. Reeder, Melody Branigan and Steven R. Waldorf and Daniel and Bryan Perkins; and the great-grandfather of seven. He is also survived by his sister, Margaret Stiff of North Canton, Conn.
A funeral service was held on Thursday, April 24, at the First Presbyterian Church of Newark, 292 W. Main St.
Donations may be made to the charity of your choice.