Update: The family has announced that Byron Clinton Perkins’ celebration of life will occur on Saturday, July 16 at 11 a.m. at the North Shore of Taughannock Park.
Original text: Byron Clinton ‘Clint’ Perkins, 75, of Apple Valley, California passed away on Wednesday, January 26, 2022, following a brief illness.
Clint was born in Ithaca, New York, to William ‘Bill’ and Berenice (Clinton) Perkins. He leaves behind his wife of 57 years, Diana (Beauchamp) Perkins; his daughters, Lorie (John) Skurka of Ithaca; Christian Perkins of Ithaca; Jennifer (Adam) Malouff of Colorado; and son William Jason (Lynne) Perkins of Ithaca; along with grandchildren Jaden, William Joseph, Noah, Emme, and William ‘Will’.
Clint is also survived by his sister Dotti (Walt) Spivey of Arizona. In addition to his parents, Clint was preceded in death by his brother, Charles ‘Chuck’ Sprague (Judith) Perkins of California.
Clint was born in Ithaca and lived there until 1952 when his father decided to move the family west to Long Beach, California. In 1956, a new family from North Dakota moved three doors down from the Perkins’ and, as fate would have it, Clint met Diana. The two quickly became sweethearts and were eventually married. In 1969, upon the passing of his father, Clint moved his family back to Ithaca, where he lived for 36 years. While in Ithaca, Clint worked for nearly 30 years as an electronics
manufacturing procurement specialist with NCR Corporation and Sturges Electronics.
To say Clint was a car enthusiast would be an understatement. From a young age, along with his brother and father, Clint built and raced cars; and in the late 60s they frequently traveled to El Mirage, CA and Bonneville, UT to race their Studebakers. Notable moments include Clint going 174 mph at El Mirage and 210 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Armed with cars built for speed—and a turbocharger or two—the threesome managed to hold a land speed record for several years.
In addition to building cars and engines, Clint—as a true gear head from start to finish—raced Jeeps and microds, and spent a fair amount of time at local drag strips. There were many, many project cars, some of which came to fruition and all of which leave a lasting memory of Clint’s unending energy and enthusiasm to “tinker in the garage.” Clint also enjoyed golfing at Hillendale Golf Course, sailing on Cayuga Lake, and touring his Harley-Davidson on the roads of the Finger Lakes before
returning to California in 2004. Over the last 18 years, Clint’s renewed hobbies in retirement included amateur radio operation, building and flying radio control (RC) airplanes, and welding—which he parlayed into a second career.
Clint’s hands were very seldom idle. He was a diligent man with many passions and hobbies, not the least of which was his ongoing “honey-do-list,” which never got shorter. Clint was the true cornerstone of his family, an honorable man and a strong father. He will be dearly missed.
There will be a celebration of life in Ithaca later this year.