Walter Perkins: Conservative conservationist

Walter Perkins was like E.F. Hutton: He didn't talk much, but when he did, people listened.

The former supervisor on the Albemarle Board of Supervisors died May 19 at age 62 of pancreatic cancer. Perkins did not run for reelection last year after serving 16 years on the board, including two as chairman. His health was an issue, but he was also "burnt out," he said.

David Wyant, elected to Perkins' White Hall seat in November, remembers appearing before the board as an engineer, and Perkins "gives me a touchdown signal." Wyant, an NFL ref, appreciated Perkins' effort to make him feel at ease going before the board.

"He could fill me in on the history and could talk to you kind of like your daddy," Wyant says.

Known for his love of the outdoors, Perkins described himself as a tree farmer after almost 40 years as a forester with Mead/Westvaco.

In a life filled with family, the outdoors he loved, and public service, Perkins said in a Hook interview, "Regrets, I had a few, but then again too few to mention."

Walter Perkins