Cover photo for Willard “Bud” Perkins's Obituary
Willard “Bud” Perkins Profile Photo

Willard “Bud” Perkins

February 5, 1926 — November 28, 2021

Willard “Bud” Perkins

Willard “Bud” Perkins

Age 95 of Gardner, Illinois, passed away Sunday morning, November 28, 2021 at Heritage Health in Dwight.

Born February 5, 1926 in rural Herscher, Illinois, Willard Eldon was a son of Alva Willard and Kathryn L. (Brockman) Perkins. He was raised in the Gardner area and graduated from Gardner South Wilmington High School with the Class of 1944. Following graduation, Bud went on to honorably serve in the United States Army Air Corp through the conclusion of WWII. On June 7, 1947, Bud married Dorothy Papach in Assumption Catholic Church in Coal City. They lived their first 20 years of marriage in Gardner before moving to Plainfield. Following the death of Dorothy in 2001, Bud returned to Gardner, where he resided in the Senior Citizen apartments until moving to Heritage Health four years ago.

Following his discharge from service, Bud worked for the family business, A.W. Perkins Lumber Company before he went on to owning and managing the Braidwood Lumber Company. Following the sale of the lumber yard in 1966, Bud gained employment with Caterpillar Tractor Company in Aurora where he worked until his retirement.

Bud was a member of St. Lawrence Catholic Church in South Wilmington; the V.F.W. and the Gardner American Legion. He belonged to the Will County Wood Carvers, as well as the Grundy County Woodworkers. In addition to his love and talent in wood working and wood carving, Bud was active in Scouting for many years. He received the Silver Beaver Award, was a past Cub Master of the Gardner Pack and was Sea Scout Leader of the Braidwood Post. Bud enjoyed fishing, hunting, trap shooting and spending time in Michigan.

Survivors include his three children: Patricia Weiskop of Joliet, Thomas A. (Karen) Perkins of Gardner, and James (Mary) Perkins of Dwight; seven grandchildren: Todd Perkins (Mandi Womack-Beasley) Kali Perkins-Croy, Tyler Perkins, Sean (April) Perkins, Stephanie (Mike) Morehead, Michael Perkins, and Katie (Scott) Mackinson; (28) great grandchildren and one great-great granddaughter; one sister-in-law, Joyce Perkins of Gardner and numerous nieces and nephews.

Bud was preceded in death by his parents; wife of 54 years, Dorothy in 2001; brother, Thomas H. Perkins and his son-in-law, G. Lee Weiskop.

The family will receive friends for a visitation at Reeves Funeral Home, 203 Liberty Street in Gardner on Thursday, December 2, 2021 between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Funeral services will follow on Friday, December 3, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. in St. Lawrence Catholic Church, 165 Rice Road in South Wilmington. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated with Rev. Stanley Drewniak presiding. Face coverings will be required for all those attending the services.

Those wishing to participate in the services virtually are welcome to join the live stream on Friday morning beginning at 11:00 a.m. A link for the event will be available on Bud’s memorial page.

Burial will be in Braceville-Gardner Cemetery, where Bud will be laid to rest with his late wife, Dorothy.

Pallbearers will be: Dan M. Perkins, Todd C. Perkins, Tyler T. Perkins, Michael W. Perkins, Zachery A. Perkins and Calvin T. Croy.

Preferred memorials may be made as gifts in Bud’s memory to St. Lawrence Catholic Church or to a food pantry of the donor’s choosing.

Family and friends are encouraged to sign the guest book, upload photographs and share Bud’s memorial page online through social media by logging onto:

Funeral services and arrangements have been made under the direction and care of Reeves Funeral Homes, Ltd. In Gardner. ( 815/237-2526 )

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Willard “Bud” Perkins, please visit our flower store.


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