Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Kenneth Perrine would agree that he was the heartbeat of the crowd wherever he went. He was vibrant with a zest for life that was contagious to those around him. He possessed the rare ability to fit right in with everyone. A loving and generous father, Kenny's children, Richard and Mark, were the light of his life. He was fun, had an adventurous side, and a quirky sense of humor. With a life that spanned times of great change in the world around him, Kenny lived every moment to the fullest and always held his loved ones close to his heart. He will be deeply missed and forever remembered by all who were blessed to know and love him.
Almost as if life aligned itself with him, Kenny was born on a day of celebration and departed on another one. It was New Year’s Eve, 1944, when Gilger and Isabelle Perrine’s life were filled with joy over the birth of their second child, Kenneth James Perrine. Born at Grace Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, the happy family made their home in Southfield, Michigan. Kenny was the middle child, with Janet and Douglas as his siblings. Although the family moved around a lot, they always resided in Southeastern Michigan.
Kenny was a student at local schools where he was popular among his peers and quite the ladies' man, too! He established a strong work ethic at a young age as he had a paper route and also worked at the Standard gas station on Evergreen Road. Kenny was approachable with a warm demeanor that made him so easy to be around. Like other young people of his generation, he also loved to party and have a good time. Through family tradition, Kenny got into playing cards, particularly cribbage and poker, and he was also an amazing pool shark who even won several pool tournaments. He also loved riding motorcycles. Kenny went on to graduate from Southfield High School in 1963.
Kenny spent his work life at Ford Motor Company was a Material Handler, and after a long successful career, retired in 2001. He had fallen in love with a little town up north on the eastern seaboard named Oscoda, and decided to live there, year-round.
Kenny knew and experienced love from three separate marriages and his longstanding relationship with Betty. As a young man he married Leslie on August 27, 1972, and together they were blessed with two children, Mark and Richard. After 11 years of marriage he and Leslie divorced. Kenny was forever grateful for the children they shared as they were the light of his life. He later married Linda, which brought two stepchildren into his life, Becky and Matt. Their marriage lasted over a decade. Later, for a short time, Kenny married Cheryl. He never gave up on love and it paid off. He met and shared an amazing long-term relationship with Betty, who would prove to be his soulmate. They met at the FOE Clubhouse in Oscoda and Betty was with him to the end.
Nothing was better in Kenny's book than being with his family and friends. He was very close to all his nieces and nephews as well as his great-nieces later in life. He somehow provided a shining example of how to live life fully, both through joy, happiness, sorrow and pain. Kenny was broken-hearted at the loss of both his parents and both siblings at an early age. Perhaps the most devastating loss was the passing of his son, Mark on November 27, 2007. Kenny’s remaining family was very important to him. He celebrated with them over holidays, often cooking and providing a roast, and cheered from the audience at his great-nieces and nephews’ milestones.
Despite the curveballs life sent to Kenny, he managed to find joy and happiness wherever he could. He was a member of a pool club and a motorcycle club, and he looked forward to taking motorcycle tours and traveling with his Harley-Davidson friends. As an adult Kenny still loved a good party, and he was the master of the grill, especially when it came to barbecue. Fourth of July was his favorite holiday as he not only manned the grill but also loved lighting fireworks. Kenny had a fantastic sense of hospitality and liked to entertain, too, as he just loved being around people. He was genuinely concerned with what was going on with those around him and was empathetic and caring as well.
As someone who lived life on the go, Kenny had many interests over the years. In addition to traveling up north to Oscoda, he also loved heading down to Florida. His favorite music was anything from Bob Seger or Elvis and he loved The Simpsons on television. In fact, his kids even nicknamed him Homer! In addition to playing pool, Kenny also liked golfing and enjoyed playing with his great nephew when they were up north.
All who knew Kenny would agree that he was an extraordinary man to know and love. He never met a stranger, and with his warm demeanor he had a way of making people feel at ease. Kenny was blessed to find the love of his life with whom he experienced so many of the best things that life has to offer. How fitting he would pass on one of his favorite holidays. God granted him the gift of fireworks as he entered the Kingdom of Heaven. He will never be forgotten.
Kenneth J. "Kenny" Perrine died on July 4, 2014. Kenny's family includes his son, Richard (Lorie); soul mate and life partner, Betty; and many nieces and nephews. Kenny was preceded in death by his son, Mark; parents, Gilger and Isabelle; brother, Douglas; and sister, Janet. Family will receive friends Tuesday 2-9 p.m. and Wednesday 10-11 a.m. at Neely-Turowski Funeral Home, 30200 Five Mile Road in Livonia, where a funeral service will be held on Wednesday at 11 a.m. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com where you can leave a memory or sign the online guestbook.