Every community should have a Will Perkins. A Colorado Springs resident for all of his 91 years, and a successful businessman, Perkins was also a faithful Christian who acted on his convictions for the betterment of his community. He passed away from natural causes on October 19.
Perkins was best known locally as the patriarch of the family that owns the Perkins Motors car dealership. Now in its fourth generation of leadership, the business was started by Perkins’ father in 1944. Perkins was in charge for over three decades before turning things over to his son, Tom, who successfully continued in his father’s footsteps before passing the torch to his own son, David.
But the true legacy of Will Perkins will be his faithful devotion to Jesus Christ and the mark he left on our city (and even beyond) because of it. Perkins contributed his time and talents to several locally based ministries that serve needy people and spread the Gospel.
Perkins served on the local Young Life committee in Colorado Springs starting in 1961, as well as on the national board of trustees from 1970-74, according to Terry Swenson, a spokesman for the global ministry. “In looking at some correspondence from then Young Life President Bill Starr, it’s clear that Mr. Perkins, along with his wife Bess, provided significant leadership and financial support to the mission during that era,” said Swenson. “We certainly offer our condolences to the Perkins family as they mourn Will’s passing.”
Life Network is a pro-life ministry serving the Colorado Springs area since 1983, and from its inception it has served women facing unplanned pregnancies, from performing ultrasounds to providing housing and other material needs. It has expanded its services to include pregnancy prevention programs for teens, post-abortion counseling, parenting skills and more. Perkins served on one of its early boards of directors.
Rich Bennett is the current President and CEO of Life Network. In an email to The Daily Citizen, Bennett recalled Perkins’ contribution to that ministry. “Life Network is reaching 15,000 people in Colorado Springs every year because of the leadership, vision and faithfulness of men like Will Perkins, who saw the importance of supporting young women facing unexpected pregnancies three decades ago,” Bennett said. “He will be greatly missed, but leaves behind a legacy of lasting impact in our city which continues under his son Tom and grandson David.”
And of course, Perkins was a friend to Focus on the Family, whose headquarters are located just a few miles up the interstate from the car dealership that bears his family’s name.
Focus President Jim Daly issued a statement on behalf of the ministry: “Colorado Springs has lost a great man, a loving family leader, an ethical business titan and a tremendous community builder.”
Tom Minnery, former Vice President of Government and Public Policy at Focus, remembers Perkins fondly: “Will was well-grounded in Scripture, highly principled in moral values, and relentlessly upbeat. He also had a sharp sense of humor.”
The Colorado Springs community owes a great debt of gratitude to Will Perkins. But his selfless life impacted thousands, perhaps millions, of others around the world for the cause of Christ, people who may never know this side of Heaven who Will Perkins is. And he undoubtedly entered into Glory hearing those words from his Savior we all long to hear one day, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Rest in peace, Will Perkins (1928-2019).
Photo from The Gazette