WINDER - David Gilbert Perkins Sr., 74, Winder, passed away on Saturday, March 4, 2023.

Born March 12, 1948, David was a lifelong resident of Barrow County and the son of Gilbert and Geneva Perkins. Paralyzed as the result of an automobile accident his senior year at Winder-Barrow High School, he fought his entire life to remove obstacles for himself and other disabled people.

He met every challenge placed before him. The first wheelchair student at the University of Georgia, he paved the way for others to follow him receiving a B.S. in Agricultural Economics in 1971. He learned to fly a plane and was instrumental in getting the county to build a ramp for handicapped persons at the Barrow County Courthouse. David received both state and national awards for his work with the Department of Agriculture and for removing architectural barriers for the disabled.

He proved that being a quadraplegic wouldn’t keep him from participating in sports. Winning gold and bronze medals for javelin, discus and shot-put, qualified him to compete in the national wheelchair games in the 1980’s. Because of his athletic success and his dogged determination, David was selected to carry the Olympic torch as it traveled through Georgia in 1996. As his son, Dave, grew, David was one of his basketball coaches.

David always had the admiration and support of his family.

Survivors include his son and daughter-in-law, Dave and Staci Perkins, Douglasville; grandchildren, Clayton, Sydney and Maddyn; brother, Dana (Ann) Perkins; sister, Peggy Perkins; and nephews, Lewis, Clint and Heath Perkins.

Funeral service: Thursday, March 9, 2023, at 2 p.m. in Smith Memory Chapel in Winder, with the Reverend John Burchfield officiating. Internment will follow at Barrow Memorial Gardens.

Family to receive friends: Thursday, March 9, 2023, from 12 until 2 p.m. at Smith Funeral Home, 755 Atlanta Hwy. SE, Winder, Georgia.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in memory of David Perkins to the Wounded Warrior Project at

Smith Funeral Home, Winder, is in charge of arrangements.

Published by MainStreet Newspapers, Inc.

Week of March 5-11

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