Richard Perino passed away peacefully at his family home in Silverton, from natural causes on March 20, 2011, surrounded by loving family members.
He was an icon of the Silverton community, donating his time and expenses to haul the material for the Christ of the Mine Shrine, serving as a city councilman and mayor pro-tem and county commissioner for many years.
Richard was born Feb. 24, 1924 in Silverton, where he resided for most of his life. As a young teenager, Richard worked as delivering milk for the family dairy in Silverton. He lived in Denver for a short period of time working for the railroad.
Upon returning to Silverton he worked as a mechanic and a truck driver for a number of years, including operating his own coal-delivery business.
He was a silent partner in the Lode Theatre business, which was operated by his wife and various family members.
He also worked at the Mayflower, Little Fora Mine, Standard Metals/Sunnyside until it closed, and P & G Mining until his retirement. He loved all aspects of mining and mining history.
He had a passion for learning, exploring the mountains, mines, machinery, and conversing with people. He spent many hours exploring the surrounding area with family and friends.
He was an accomplished accordion musician, auditioning for the “Lawrence Welk Show.” A position in the band was declined due to his love for the Silverton area.
He was known to family and non-family as a local historian. He had a wonderful gift of gab and sense of humor.
He had the ability to instantly recall birth dates and ages of townsfolk, living and deceased. One only had to ask how old somebody was and he would respond quickly, with a correct date.
When questioned he’d bring out the San Juan County voter registration list to prove himself right.
Richard is survived by his wife of 63 years, Violet, and six children: Linda Perino Wiebe (Robert) of Farmington, N.M., Larry Perino (Donna) of Silverton, Shirley Perino Jones (Terry) of Lakewood, Roy Perino (Jeannette) of Colorado Springs, Ronnie Perino (Nina) of Eagle River, Alaska, and Sheila Perino Moser (Gil) of Farmington, N.M.; 15 grandchildren, 14.5 great grandchildren; sister Lillian Perino Jakino, and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Michael and Marina Perino, brother Elio Perino, sister Leda Perino Satores Samples, granddaughter Kandi Wiebe Pierce, nephews Leroy Perino and Wayne Jakino.
Richard was loved and will be missed by many. Memorial services are pending for summer.
The San Juan County Historical Society bought the last three vintage trucks from Rich. Donations in his name will be earmarked for restoration of the trucks.