Palo Alto Online - Lasting Memories - Susan Perkins's memorial

Susan Perkins
June 29, 1945-March 9, 2024
Mountain View, California

Our beloved sister, Susie left us on March 9, 2024, after a long bout with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. She was living in downtown Mountain View, in her old bungalow, previously converted to a lovely accessible home.

Susan Perkins was the oldest of five daughters to our parents Fran and Herb. She was born in 1945 in Massachusetts while our father served as a captain of a medical unit in occupied Japan. Susie followed in his professional shoes as a devotee to medical research. In the late 70s she received medical technician training with a specialty in blood research. This led her to a career at Stanford medical center, cloning blood cells. She worked, and contributed to publications, at the forefront of monoclonal antibody research. Her tendency to enjoy meticulous processes absorbed her and she often discussed the precision in her work. Attention to detail went beyond her research, often absorbing herself in very complex jigsaw puzzles. Numerous beautiful, framed puzzles hang in her home. The grace and precision of ballet, which she practiced as a child, led her to buy season tickets to the ballet in San Francisco, which she shared with various neighbors and friends.

Travel and experiencing different cultures inspired Susie, and for many years she participated in travel tours that involved participants in research projects. To Susie the opportunity to enjoy a vacation combined with research made an exciting and satisfying element in her life. As her ability to mobilize became more challenged, she continued to find ways to make an annual trip abroad through river/ocean tours accompanied by a sister.

Every year prior to Christmas, Susie held a tradition, baking hundreds of cookies and bars for the people that she loved. She savored this practice, wrapping each one meticulously.

Susan is survived by four sisters: Debbie Perkins-Kalama, Dale Perkins, Karen Perkins, and Ronnie Connell. Singing was a constant activity for our family, and for Susie, it gave her so much joy to share the old folk/rock songs with her sisters. We kept it going until the very end, joined by honorary sister, Juliet Forman and Richard Scott, her longtime caregiver.

Susie will be remembered as a quiet soul, but one of incredible strength and fortitude in addressing her personal journey. She’s been inspirational to us, handling her life “one day at a time, and one piece at a time.” This patience and persistence were exhibited in her role in the neighborhood when the city was considering taking her whole block as part of urban renewal. Susie’s straight forward heart felt plea to save her home became a face for this effort that has endured in her lovely neighborhood.

We will miss Susie’s gentle silliness, her Tai Chi in goofy cow slippers, and her love of singing quirky lyrics for birthdays and special occasions. Sing on sweet Susie.

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Memorial service
An informal memorial will be held on June 1. If interested in attending, contact or
Make a donation
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society or a charity of your choice.

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