Perpich-George of Shoreview, MN died at Johanna Shores long term care facility from Parkinson's disease on September 26, 2018.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Anton and Mary Vukelich Perpich, his brothers Rudy and Tony and his wife Connie Motherway Perpich. He is survived by his former wife Ella Johnson Perpich, a son Gregory Perpich, a daughter Betty Lynn Perpich, a grandson George Meados and a brother Dr. Joe Perpich.
He was born in Carson Lake (Hibbing), MN, on September 2, 1933. A graduate of Hibbing high school and the University of MN, Duluth, he then went on to serve in the United States navy at the Great Lakes Naval Base from 1955 to 1957. He received his degree in dentistry from the University of Minnesota dental school in 1961 and opened his dental practice in Chisholm, MN and continued his practice until 1987.
From 1971 to 1980 he served in the Minnesota state senate succeeding his brother Rudy who held the senate seat from 1962 to 1970 and was elected MN lieutenant governor in 1970. He joined his brother Tony a resident of Virginia, MN, who represented the adjoining senate district to that of George. In January 1971 all three took temporary leave from their dental practices and came to St Paul.
As lieutenant governor, Rudy presided over the senate at the time in which his two brothers served. George Perpich served as chair of the Senate Health, Welfare and Corrections Committee from 1977-1980. Among George's legislative priorities were increasing services to those in state mental and penal institutions and in the transition for their return to their communities; state support for home health care for the elderly; a sliding scale for child care to make it easier for low- and moderate-income mothers to work and state aid to subsidize adoptions for hard to place handicapped children.
George retired from the state senate in 1980 and, as John Watson Milton wrote in his book on the high tide of liberalism in the MN legislature in the 1970's, it brought to a close "a colorful career, the last of the three brothers who had burst on the Capitol scene and never missed a chance to make a difference."
Following his retirement from the state senate, George was involved in the 1982 and 1986 successful gubernatorial campaigns of his brother Rudy to serve as governor of MN. He sold his dental practice in 1987 and moved to St. Paul. He became a lobbyist for Iron Range municipalities and the Minnesota Power Company of Duluth among his many clients until his retirement in the late 1990's.
In a news article on an assessment of the political careers of the Perpich brothers there was a judgment expressed that one could fault them on a variety of positions taken and decisions made in their political lives, but none would fault them for not having their hearts in the right place. It is a fitting epitaph for the work and lives of George and that of his two older brothers.
Members of the Perpich family would like to thank James McGrory of Home Instead caregivers for his great companionship to keep George socially and intellectually engaged the past two years; for Judy Palmer and the nursing staff at Johanna Shores long term care facility for their steadfast support and care of George in the last year of his life, and for Julie Daine, hospice nurse, and the Optage Hospice care team for their devoted service in the last days of George's life.
Private family services will be held at Fort Snelling cemetery where his wife Connie Perpich is buried. A memorial service will be held later in the fall. The family invites contributions in George's memory to Planned Parenthood of Minnesota for serving patients in their greater Minnesota clinics (https://www.plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-minnesota-north-dak... ) and to the Center for Victims of Torture of St. Paul, MN for their programs to serve victims of torture worldwide (https://www.cvt.org/ ). George's late wife Connie Motherway Perpich served for 26 years as chief lobbyist for Planned Parenthood of Minnesota. Governor Rudy Perpich was instrumental in the creation of the Center for Victims of Torture, one of his proudest achievements.