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January 11, 1958 ~ November 13, 2023 (age 65) 65 Years Old
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Lea Jeanne Perkins, Zhaabwaanakwad “Sun Shining Through The Clouds”, age 65, of Red Lake, MN, passed away on Monday, November 13, 2023.
Lea was born on January 11, 1958, in Red Lake, MN to Edward and Virgnia (Lussier) Perkins, Sr. and grew up in Minneapolis, MN. Lea earned a BA in Chemistry from Bemidji State University in 1989 and Masters in Tribal Administration and Governance (MTAG) from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2013. Lea worked as the Executive Administrator for the Red Lake Nation from 2004-2014 for Floyd Jourdain Jr. Previous to that appointment, she worked at the Minnesota Department of Education Office of Indian Education as a Grant Specialist from 1994-2004. She had extensive experience in program management and development, scholarship programs and evaluation. She taught Anatomy and Physiology as an Adjunct faculty for Northwest Technical College and Red Lake History at Red Lake Nation College. She had also taken graduate classes in Education at Bemidji State University. Lea was instrumental in bringing increased educational opportunities, two Boys & Girls Clubs, youth recreational facilities, a skate park, and motorcycle rallies in support of suicide awareness to Red Lake. She helped organize elder and youth summits, urban events, and local improvements to the reservation. She helped plant many seeds that continue to grow today.
She loved rock music, spending time with her parents, children and grandchildren who lovingly called her “Umma” and “Grandma Red”. She was a classic car fanatic. A close friend wrote these words to her, “Jump in that classic Dodge Challenger of yours, put the pedal to the metal sister. We love you and will see you on the other side”.
She will be lovingly remembered by her mother, Virginia Perkins; children: Robert (Anna Grimm) Lynch and Candace (Mike Barsch) Lynch; three grandchildren: Timothy Lynch, Kittie Barsch, Harlie Barsch; siblings: Darrell Perkins and Donald “Charlie” Perkins; as well as numerous other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her father, Edward Perkins Sr., siblings: Edward Perkins Jr. and Luana Perkins; her grandparents and many other relatives and friends.
The wake will begin at 1PM on Thursday, November 16, 2023, at the New Red Lake Center in Red Lake and continue until the service at 1PM on Friday, November 17, 2023, with Father John Christianson officiating. Active pallbearers will be: Arlie Wipf, Ben Wipf, Donald Perkins Jr., Buck Jourdain, Austin Needham, Jon Richards. Honorary pallbearers will be: Mary Harper, Bob Smith, Rob May, Bridgette Auginash, Ruthann Donnell, Nancy Richards, Kathy Brun, Stacy Beaulieu, Thelma May, Susan Midbrod, Bill Brunnell, Kelly Brunnell, Maria Tolzmann and the Red Lake Comp Health Transport Drivers. Burial will be at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Red Lake. Arrangements provided by Whispering Pines Funeral & Cremation Service of Walker & Hackensack.