James A. Perkovic

Profile Updated: January 27, 2017
Residing In: St. Louis, MO USA
Spouse/Partner: Sandra M. Perkovic (passed 12/21/2016)
Homepage: View Website
Occupation: Writer/Author
Children: Michelle (Parsons), born 1975; Jackie, born 1987; Julia, born 1989

Life has a way of "...slipping, slipping, slipping. into the future." And then completely slipping away, altogether. Such is the case with my late wife Sandy, who silently slipped away at 7:03 pm on December 21st, 2016, following incurable complications from diabetes.

Sandy (meaning: "Helper of Mankind") was the love of my life, and she will be sorely missed. A celebration of her life was conducted at 12:00 noon on Saturday, January 14th at:

Hazelwood Baptist Church
6161 Howdershell Road
Hazelwood, MO 63042

Upwards of one hundred people attended her service which was a very beautiful and spiritual experience. There would have been even more were it not for an untimely ice event occurring smack in the middle of what is otherwise proving to be one of the mildest winters in the history of St. Louis. A wonderful luncheon followed where, after feeding their souls, everyone fed their stomachs. All in all, it was a wonderful and fitting tribute to my wife of exactly 36 and a half years. We were married on the summer solstice (June 21, 1980), and she passed on the winter solstice (December 21, 2016). She was the love of my life and, without her, life would not have been worth living. My "helper of mankind" was forever being of service to others. So she most certainly lived up to her namesake. Her memory, as well as her soul, will live on forever. I'll see you in Heaven--my precious soulmate.

School Story:

Where do I start? My school story began in kindergarten at Twillman Elementary. I still remember those half day sessions with Miss Miller, who later married and became Mrs. Johnson. This was my first interaction with peers, other than with children from the neighborhood, and it was quite a change. But I made the adjustment and soon was on my way. I attended Twillman through fourth grade, when we were all shocked to discover that many of us would be transferred to another school for fifth grade. That would be Larimore--a school which has just finished undergoing some extensive expansion. Then the next year, I got transferred again. This time it was Black Jack--a brand new school at the time. Since I lived less than a mile away, I got to walk. I still remember those cold, teeth chattering mornings when we used to get winter. Those were the days! Since I adjusted to Black Jack so well (now Granneman), it was decided that seventh grade would be held over at all the elementary schools. (This had to do with voters' failure to pass a new tax levy).

But, of course, the real fun was yet to come. And you know what I'm talking about. Ah, yes! Split sessions--at the old junior high that was shaped like the letter H at Howdershell and Humes. What a memory that became! We all thought we'd met our doom. But actually I liked it! And it was the only year I earned straight A's. Perhaps, what made it tolerable was the knowledge that we were all in this together. Who knows? I was assigned the afternoon session. So I got to sleep in. Aside from it's being my introduction to class periods with team teaching and lockers--and gym with Coach Reich--it was pretty routine. I still vividly recall those ten minute lunch breaks when we stuffed our faces with whatever junk food we could bag up. What made it neat, though, was that when I got home, I'd have dinner waiting, could flip on the Man from U.N.C.L.E., then kick back and relax--having not a care in the world as to how late I stayed up. There would still be plenty of time to do homework in the morning.

But homework was usually the furthest thing from my mind. For in the morning, my next door neighbor, Bobby Tutschulte, and I used to take turns playing billiards at each other's homes. His family had bumper pool, while ours had regulation. It was fun playing on each other's tables, and we both got pretty good. I can remember, more than once, sinking all balls in succession. One other recollection I have from eighth grade was the fact that this was the winter of no snow. For the entire season, I don't believe the National Weather Service even recorded so much as two inches total!

Ninth grade proved interesting, for I found myself transferring schools, yet again. By now, I was an old hand at this. So each move was something new and exciting. And this move was no exception. As it turned out, however, this would be my last. For you see, we'd been placed in what would later become the new high school on New Halls Ferry Road. But for the present, it served as a junior high, as construction continued on the new campus. By the time ninth grade was over, it was time to convert the temporary junior high into the new senior high, so tenth, eleventh and twelfth grades would be completed at the same facility. The class of 69 was the only class to have completed all four years at the same location. I'm sure it was strictly coincidence.

Since I've always had such a strong interest in meteorology, I often associate events with various unusual weather phenomena. One of the most memorable was that historic tornado that occurred on Thursday evening, January 24th, 1967 between 6:55 pm and 7:30 pm. It had been the last in a series of unseasonably warm days, with daytime highs in the 70's and nighttime lows in the 50's, and the cold air was finally returning. A line of severe thunderstorms had formed during the afternoon ahead of the cold front from northern Illinois southward into central Missouri. I remember seeing the line approaching from the northwest shortly before sunset around five o'clock. I went back in to do homework. But shortly past seven--in the darkness of night--something made me go back outside where I stepped out into an eerie calm. The temperature was 72 degrees, the breeze was nonexistent, and a very low cloud deck was racing across the sky from west to east, just a thousand feet above the surface. I didn't think much of it and was about to go back inside when I suddenly saw a flash of green lightning on the western horizon. This got my attention, and after several seconds, I saw a second flash--this time, considerably closer. This really stirred my interest, and I ran down the street to my friend Mike Hawk's home to share what I was seeing. In less than a minute, I was knocking at the door, with green lightning rapidly approaching, sounds of crashing getting louder, and a light misty rain starting to fall. Within seconds, the crashing got louder, and then bang. The rain began pouring, as the wind instantaneously began howling at 100 mph from the south. I ran to the side of the house, so as not to get drenched. But in the three seconds it took me to get there, the wind had swung around and was now howling at 100 mph from the north. So I ran back to the front door. In the additional three seconds it took me to return, the wind and rain had subsided, and all was calm. But I could hear crashing to the east. Mike finally opened the door, as a few golf ball sized hailstones pelted down. And then it cleared up. I shouted, "We better get downstairs! I think a tornado might be coming!" Little did I know at the time, but a tornado had just come and gone, and I just happened to be smack in the center of it. It wasn't until two days later on a Saturday morning that my brother and I mapped out the entire path from where it formed out by the Howard Bend pumping station at Olive and Ladue, to where it dissipated near the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. The amazing thing is that, while near total destruction occurred to anything along the path, our particular neighborhood was one of the few that was spared. Of course, the roof of the gymnasium was ripped off the old senior high school at highways 270 and 367, and additional severe damage occurred in the Spanish Lake area. But I, myself, escaped all harm. I am probably the only individual you'll ever know who can say he's been smack in the center of a tornado, but never even saw it. In any event, two days after that fateful night, it was back to winter and several inches of snow. (Try googling: St. Louis tornado January 24, 1967).

My junior and senior years were eventful in other ways, as most of my real activities took place outside of school. I always felt like I was a spectator, just along for the ride, but was grateful to have been placed among the movers and shakers at Hazelwood High. I was working during my junior and senior years, so that greatly restricted my ability for school related functions. As a member of JETS club, Spanish club, and the debate club, at least I did participate in some extra curricular activities. I"ll never forget the debate team of Elias Vlanton and Bob Larkin, the expert guidance of coach Kara Jean Porter, and all the trophies the debate team won. I also fondly recall Mr. Simpson's English class, where we put Hamlet on trial, Mr. Rascher's dramatics class, where I was once made up as a girl, and Mr. Levy's civic's class, where we did more conversing than anything else. But at least I did get to sit directly across from Patty McGuire. Who would have ever thought that just seven years later she would be chosen as Playboy bunny of the month for November 1976, and for the year, just a few months after that? Of course, I only bought the issue so I could read about how Jimmy Carter only lusted in his heart.

Ah...the good old days!

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Apr 23, 2019 at 3:33 AM
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Jan 19, 2017 at 3:41 AM

Posted on: Jan 07, 2017 at 2:02 PM

Jan 07, 2017 at 1:23 PM

REMEMBER: It's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years!
Abraham Lincoln

Apr 23, 2016 at 3:33 AM
Apr 23, 2015 at 3:33 AM
Aug 03, 2014 at 5:47 PM

James are you going to the 45th reunion in Grafton Il 9/13/14?

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Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:43 PM
This picture holds particular significance for me, as it was taken aboard the cruise ship, "Carnival Spirit", in the summer of 2006. My brother, Paul, and his life long partner, Eric Trefelner, treated my family, my sister's family, our aunt, and a few of our friends to the vacation of a lifetime, by flying us all up to Fairbanks, Alaska, to ride the McKinley Express down to Anchorage, where we boarded the cruise ship and rode through the "Inner Passage". The 16 of us had a magnificent time, got to partake of many adventures, and created memories that will be with us for the rest of our lives.

My daughter, Jackie, created a one hour video tribute to Paul and Eric for having given us this wonderful gift and presented it to them during this past Thanksgiving. Paul only has months to live, and this movie is Jackie's gift to him. If anyone cares to view it on You Tube, it can be seen by typing in: youtube.com/relative amusement. Just look for the Alaska video and click on it.
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:43 PM
Paul Perkovic at age 3 and a half holding his baby brother, "Jimmy" (age: 16 months). As happens so often with the media, the Cincinnati Enquirer got it exactly backwards in their caption under our photo during their August 1952 photo contest.

My brother, Paul, attended school in the Hazelwood school district from kindergarten through 9th grade, after which he transferred to Country Day preparatory school in order to pave his way for attending Harvard. He spent his life in the computer field and contributed significantly in many of its developments and innovations.

On July 4th, 2011, my dear and most precious brother was diagnosed with terminal stage three pancreatic cancer. If anyone knows Paul and wants to contact him while he is still with us, he can be reached at: caringbridge.org. You'll need to sign on and create a password. Then under the "visit" catagory, just type in "Perk", and you can read his story, his journal entries, and write sentiments on his guest book.
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Posted: Jan 19, 2017 at 9:23 AM

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James A. Perkovic