Michael Dennis Perkins passed away peacefully at home on the morning of Tuesday, May 4 after a short illness. Michael’s greatest passion was the church, whether singing in the choir at St Theresa’s RC, Woodbrook or having the pleasure of visiting several places on pilgrimage including Fatima, Mexico, Lourdes, Medjugorje, Rome and Ireland.
Michael was well-known to Catholic News, as some 20 years ago he ventured into planning and arranging liberation pilgrimages to Catholic churches all around Trinidad and Tobago and would of course advertise in the paper. These pilgrimages were very popular with those Catholics who may never have had the opportunity to visit many of these churches in their lifetime.
One of the people he interacted with was Mary Pitman, Advertising Officer, CAMSEL, who upon hearing of Michael’s passing made the comment “You could always hear Michael before you saw him”.
Below is the eulogy given at Michael’s funeral on Friday, May 7 by his son, Ryan.
Michael Dennis Perkins, born August 14, 1953, was a son, brother, husband, father, uncle, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
The second child of 10, Daddy can only be described as The Greatest Showman—a free spirit who thrived when he was the centre of attention.
Daddy was a lot of things: loving, kind, generous and godly, all the good graces of his grandmother Anna O’Brien whom he adored. He always lived his life the way he wanted to—he had no qualms in expressing his feelings or had no reservations in telling people how he felt. And he was never boring at family gatherings.
Daddy was caring and giving to a fault, but he found it difficult to give freely of himself to the people who were closest to him, somewhat a challenge for his family. Daddy’s passion was the Church, and he was in his greatest element when on pilgrimage. He was simply on stage and loved it! He always spoke about his ‘gladysis’ and his travels around the world.
Daddy loved the outdoors and animals but loved air condition even more! He loved his food and Phyllis’ cooking and he used 100 napkins at every meal. And don’t you dare drink from his glass because that drink would be yours!
Daddy also loved a drive—our big outing as children was taking a drive down to the base in ‘Chag’ (Chaguaramas), and in later years, he was Kathy’s riding partner to take the grandkids all over the country.
He was a man obsessed with turning off a light switch and checking the water levels. There is no man that loved a bath more than Daddy, but his absolute favourite thing in the world was bread and cheese.
Daddy was by no means perfect, but then, who is? Like for all of us, life is a journey that has not been written until it’s over. Now that his own is written, we could only reflect and learn how to make our lives and our children’s lives better.
Daddy leaves behind Rose-Mary, his wife, a rock who was his stabilising force, who kept his feet on the ground, which he would never have admitted; my sister Nisha and myself, his six grandchildren and one great-grandchild whom he loved dearly and who will greatly miss him.
All who met Daddy or who spent any length of time with him, were drawn into his world, and the stories that were spun, sent them reeling into gales of laughter. Everyone was of the belief that Daddy was the happiest and most carefree person on Earth, but never realised that Daddy’s greatest nemesis was Daddy.
Daddy and I had our differences and often did not see eye to eye, but I stand here bearing witness to the last chapter of his life. Living with Daddy made me strong, for that I am grateful.
Our dear father, brother, husband, uncle, much-loved grand and great-grandfather, you have been what the world would have called a champion.
We will miss you and wish with all our hearts, you have been able to find peace in this universe but most of all, we truly hope, you have been able to forgive yourself, whatever fears, or uncertainties you may have had.
This family has always loved you and we hope you sit with God and all our family who have passed. We are sure that you will be The Greatest Showman in Heaven. Safe travels, Daddy.