Dudley Perkins Co. Harley-Davidson owner TP, 58, passes away

Tom Perkins, owner of storied South San Francisco dealership, passed away Dec. 15 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. His daughter, Nicole, posted this loving tribute on the Dudley Perkins Co. Harley-Davidson dealership’s website:

Tom Perkins, better known as TP, was a proud husband, father, grandfather, friend and business owner. On December 15, TP lost his battle with pancreatic cancer, at the age of 58. A Bay Area native, Tom was born in San Francisco, moved to Atherton during childhood and attended Bellarmine Preparatory High School in Tacoma, returning to San Francisco to attend USF and to work at the family Harley Dealership under the leadership of his father, Dudley Perkins Jr.

In 1996, Tom took over ownership of Dudley Perkins Co, where he continued the family tradition as the third Perkins generation. He treated his employees like family members, customers as friends. Nothing made TP more proud than having the pleasure to work alongside his wife, Janet and son Christopher, whom TP began grooming to take the reins since age 5.

For those who know Tom, they know the story of how he lost his leg: Eighteen years old, riding his motorcycle he was hit by a truck in downtown San Francisco. The doctors at SF General saved his life, and to show his respect and admiration for the incredible medical team at the hospital, Tom has donated countless hours and contributions over the years, even being recognized in 2014 as a San Francisco General Heroes & Hearts Award Recipient.

Tom cherished any opportunity to discuss history of all genres — the history of motorcycles, of San Francisco, our national history, but most importantly of our military & armed forces. TP had an incredible amount gratitude and appreciation for those who put their country before themselves, making donating both time and money to various Veteran charities, events and individuals a constant priority for both himself and his company.

Tom is survived by his high school sweetheart, now wife of 37 years, Janet; his children, son Christopher & his wife Rebecca, daughter Nicole; his grandchildren Wesley and Johnny. Tom is one of 5 children, with loving siblings James and wife Jane, brother Bill and wife Glee, and caring sisters Dana & Mary and mother Virginia Perkins. Tom's father, Dudley Perkins Jr. lost his own battle with pancreatic cancer in 1997. Members of his family have shown an abundance of support over the last year to TP, his wife and his children. Tom's extended family of dedicated employees, customers and friends have helped tremendously through this time.

A reception in his honor is scheduled for January 1st at Dudley Perkins Company, South San Francisco beginning at 12pm, immediately following Tom's traditional New Year's Day Ride. All are welcome to attend and celebrate TP's incredibly rich life. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Tom's name can be sent to SF General or Wounded Warrior Project.


  1. I knew TP as a child and kept in sporadic contact with him since our years at Saint Emydius catholic school. I remember his quick wit, fearlessness and generosity. TP helped me select and purchase my first Harley which I rode yearly in the News Years Ride.

    God's promise is not that He prevents bad things from happening...but that He is always there when they do.

  2. I had the privilege of working in the office of Dudley Perkins Harley Davidson in the late 1980's. TP was great to work with, kind, helpful and always in good humor. When I bought my own Heritage Softail there in 1989 he used his "in" with the factory and had my Harley custom painted especially for me. I'm sad to hear that he passed away so young. We'll meet again, this I truly believe.

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