U.S. national champion, ski retailer and sales rep

Passing Date: 
Saturday, September 10, 2016

Dean R. Perkins, a U.S. national champion in downhill and GS at mid-century, died September 10 at age 89.

Born in Montpelier, Idaho, Perkins grew up in Ogden, Utah, and learned to ski and race on the rope tow at Snow Basin. He raced for the Weber State and University of Utah ski teams and also competed in tennis. He won the North American Downhill at Aspen’s inaugural Roch Cup in 1949, and the GS National Championship that year in Reno. He was named to the U.S. team for the 1950 FIS World Championships in Aspen. While training for the 1952 Olympics he was drafted for the Korean War, but was assigned to the U.S. Army Ski Team and sent to Europe to compete in post-Olympic races. In 1952 he won the European Armed Forces Command Championship.

Perkins returned to Ogden in 1955 and opened Perkins Ltd, a specialty ski and sporting goods store. For more than a quarter-century he traveled as a sales rep for Roffe ski wear and Demetre sweaters, covering nine states in the Mountain West and Midwest, and served on the board of the Western Winter Sports Representatives Association. He founded the Ogden Standard-Examiner Ski School, which taught thousands to ski. He was inducted into the Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame in 2013. 

Beyond skiing, Perkins loved to race catamarans, sports cars and motorcycles. He was an enthusiastic mountaineer and licensed pilot—and a world-class raconteur. He is survived by his children Kelly (Scott) Buehler and Deano Perkins, his former wife, Janet Bell Riger, and many nephews, nieces and grandchildren. 

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