Allen Ross Perrins

January 18, 1927 ~ April 22, 2020 (age 93)


Allen Ross Perrins, age 93, a longtime resident of Branford, passed away on April 22, 2020 of the COVID-19 virus.

Al was raised in Hamden and graduated from South Kent Prep School in 1945. He served in WWII in the active duty Navy. Upon retiring from the Navy, he attended Yale University.  He also served in the Naval Reserves from 1950-1959 while earning a Doctorate in Electrical Engineering from Yale in 1956.

In 1949, he married his childhood sweetheart, Barbara Cowgill. Both families had spent summers in Sagamore Cove in Branford.

Al and Barbara raised their family in Cheshire where he served the community on the Zoning Board for many years.   They also continued the family tradition of spending summers in Branford at Sunset Beach and added skiing in Vermont to their winter activities with their 4 children. Once the kids were grown, the water still beckoned, so Barbara and Al would winter at Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge in Florida.

Socially known as "Doc", Al worked all his career for Superior Electric Co. in Bristol from 1951-1990.  Author of a number of patents, he rose up to be Vice President of Research and Development before retiring.

One of the ‘greatest generation’, he epitomized a man of integrity, duty and honor.  Al would go out of his way to help others. He had a keen sense of right and wrong and would fight for the truth.  His quick wit and love of puns was well known. He had a creative and inventive mind which carried into his hobbies--tinkering around to make things perform to their utmost—especially in the art of sailing.

Al could build and repair almost anything from boats, sails, cars, instruments, stereos and docks to neighborhood beach rafts. Sailing and ‘messing about in boats’ was his passion from a young age.  He launched the summer youth Blue Jay racing club out of the Branford Yacht Club. As evidenced by a living room cabinet full of trophies, he raced yachts from New Haven to Block Island through his 80s with great success.  "Captain Bligh" ran a tight ship. He was a longstanding member of the Branford Yacht Club and the Off Soundings Club.  He was honored to become a lifetime member of the International NonSuch Association in 2017. One of the highlights of his sailing career was winning the Nonsuch International Championship 30' Class and Nonsuch Founders' Trophy in 2012 at the age of 85 in his beloved boat, Barbcat.

Al and Barbara, known as the "Admiral of the Fleet", became members of the local Coast Guard Auxiliary in 1981. He was a previous Branford Flotilla Commander, ran radio communications and taught safe boating classes to the public. They went on maneuvers together and enjoyed assisting the community.

His wife, Barbara, of 50 years preceded him in death in 1999.

Al met his second wife, Helen Davis, a native of Tennessee, in the Florida Keys. They married in 2001. For a number of years, they kept three residences of sorts, following the seasons up and down the east coast before Helen passed away in 2010.

Those family members left to honor his memory are four children and their spouses: Martha Perrins-Dallman and Jack Dallman, Nina Sutliff and husband Paul, Allen Ross Perrins Jr and wife Cathy, Nancy Valley and husband David; Five grandchildren, Jessica, Ann , Jeffrey,  Andrea  and Aaron; and seven great grandchildren. He also loved his second family with stepchildren: Jerry Davis and wife Judy, Becky Ballard and husband Bill; grandchildren and greatgrandchildren.  He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a future date.

Please visit Hawley Lincoln Funeral Home at to view and post memories of his antics, achievements and creations.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that any memorial donations in his name be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital 501 St. Jude Place  Memphis, TN 38105  on the web at


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