Obituary for Larry Perkins

Joie d’vivre. The sunshine of a smile, a hearty laugh, a warm hello. Everybody’s buddy, everybody’s pal, a friend for a lifetime. He wanted everyone to like him, and mostly everyone did. Sometimes a little bigger than life, sometimes not.

Lawrence Leslie Perkins Jr. was born on May 13, 1973 in Valparaiso, Indiana to Katherine Ann and Lawrence Leslie Perkins. He was born with a big personality and the challenge of living with Prader-Willi Syndrome. He died on January 3, 2015, after providing the gift of life to others through donation of his organs.

Larry first came to Laura Baker Services Association on May 25, 1987 at 15. He attended Laura Baker School, living on Margaret Graves I with a host of friends. When his mom and step-dad decided to move out-of-state in September 1991, Larry moved with them, and spent time in a few different states before returning to Laura Baker in June 1992, where he completed his education, matriculating from Laura Baker School in 1994. Larry was delighted to be able to move into his new house late last year.

Larry worked through Epic Enterprises at a variety of jobs. He especially enjoyed his work at Dokmo. In recent years, Larry volunteered for Meals on Wheels and did light assembly work.

He was Catholic, and enjoyed attending a variety of churches. He was a Special Olympic athlete, winning medals in a variety of sports. He sang in the Laura Baker Choir. Two years ago, he was one of the featured dancers at the Laura Baker Dinner Theater, where he partnered with a St. Olaf dancer to show off his ballroom dancing skills.

Larry was a collector of many things. He especially enjoyed writing and drawing. He was profiled in pictures in a photo exhibit created by St. Olaf students.

Larry told his story for the 2013 Annual Report. Here’s what he had to say:

I work to make money. I go out with my mom a lot. I’m proud of buying stuff for my mom. I put stickers on things.

I like people to draw me pictures, and I draw for them sometimes. I like using the whole sheet of paper.

I have tons of music CDs. I play them on my stereo here in my room. My favorite is kid songs.

I like College Buddies. When it’s warm, we walk around the neighborhood.

I like to be at my mom’s place. I like to spend the night. One night for my birthday, and two nights for Christmas.

Once in a great while something makes me sad. I don’t see my girlfriend no more and she never calls me. We met at the Valentine’s dance at the Faribault Ballroom. She’s been my girlfriend for quite a few years. Now she never calls me.

If I had three wishes? I would wish for a thousand dollars. Then I’d buy ten CDs and maybe a new DVD movie. With what’s left over, I’d buy 200 notebooks. And I would draw in them all.

Larry is survived by his mom, Kathy Perkins and by his housemates, staff and friends at Laura Baker Services Association and Epic Enterprises. He was preceded in death by his father, Lawrence Perkins, and his stepfather, Jim Nehmzow.

We envision Larry dancing with the many friends and family members he is reunited with. “Hi, how are YOU? Hello old buddy, old pal!!! How you been? What’s new?”

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Larry Perkins Memorial Service

Larry

We are mourning the loss of Larry Perkins, a long-time member of the LBSA family, who died on January 3, 2015.  A celebration of Larry’s life will be held in Millis Hall Dining Room on Monday, January 12 at 3 pm.  All of Larry’s friends are welcome.  Complete obituary will follow.

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Say Farewell to MG!


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MG January 8

MG second pic January 8

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Gala 2014

The 2014 Gala, held on December 6th at the Weitz Center, was a success and we are grateful for all that made it possible. We were honored to have Barry Morrow engage us with his stories and entertained by the Laura Baker Choir. Thank you for your support!

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Thank you St. Olaf Students!

iPad-Drawing photo St. Olaf St. Olaf Arts Management

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Community Thanksgiving Dinner


Thank you to the sponsers, volunteers and Laura Baker employees that made this year’s Thanksgiving Dinner a success. Approximately 375 people were served a turkey dinner with all of the trimmings. That’s over 20 turkeys that were prepared and eaten!

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Laura Baker Choir sings at YMCA!

The Laura Baker Choir and Rock Band sang for the grand opening of the  Northfield  YMCA on Sunday, October 12. Check out the photos, here!

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October Art Workshop Photos

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Barry Morrow – 2014 Gala Guest Speaker

BARRY MORROW SPEAKER2Laura Baker Services Association is pleased to announce Barry Morrow will be a keynote speaker at the 2014 Gala.

Barry Morrow is an Emmy and Academy Award winning writer/producer whose films are part of motion picture history. Best known for his original story and screenplay, Rain Man, starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise, this 1988 “Best Picture of the Year” will be remembered as the highest-grossing Oscar-winning film of its time, but also for its global impact on autism and savant syndrome. Barry’s autobiographical story, “Bill,” starring Dennis Quaid and the late Mickey Rooney, has been hailed by the New York Times as Rooney’s most enduring role in his 90 year career.

Read Mr. Morrow’s biography here.

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A Sneak Preview

Board leadership, both past and present, was invited to take a sneak preview of Laura Baker Service’s new cottages this past weekend. Thank you all for your generosity and dedication to help make this all possible.

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