Celebrating the Life of
John (Jack) Kimbal Perdue
Nov 4, 1964 - Feb 5, 2021
The Virtual Celebration of Life for
John (Jack) Kimbal Perdue
Saturday, April 24, 2021
3:00 PM EDT | 12:00 PDT
John “Jack” Kimbal Perdue recently returned to his Mother’s arms on February 5th, 2021.
Jack loved many things. Just a few include computers, programming, poker, steak (which was his last real meal btw), fine cheese, Shiner Bock, sailing, Marlboro Reds, red wine, classic rock & roll, Saturday Night Live, a little smoke, CBS Sunday Morning and anyone who could debate him about current events or whatever topic was of interest that day.
Following a year of declining strength and overall frailty, it was discovered that his body was filled with metastatic cancer on January 30th. He was brought home to receive hospice care while surrounded by friends and family. Jack passed days later, quietly and peacefully, while enjoying his favorite music by Pink Floyd with his sister and father at his side. In facing his imminent mortality, he said “I have lived as I wished”.
Jack was born in a military hospital on Webb Air Force Base on April 11th, 1964 in Big Spring,TX. His parents John R. Perdue and Sandra Rider Perdue welcomed him into this world as their first of two children. He resided in Houston, England, Tampa and eventually back to the Houston area where he grew up in Bellaire and Kingwood. Jack participated in the Cub & Boy Scouts and played a few sports such as soccer, baseball, football and swim team. He got to travel to Europe as part of a group from his school in the summer of 1977. At Kingwood High School, Jack joined the Acting & Debating Squad (KADS) where he enjoyed debate. Initially attending Humble High School, Jack was in the very first class of seniors to graduate from the new Kingwood High School in 1982.
His real passion was computers and here’s his explanation of why he eventually called himself “Silicon Slick”:
Circa 1978 as a freshman at a humble high school in the great state of Texas I was introduced to computers by the husband of the Science Club’s teacher. My first class IIRC, taught by Mr. C. ("Mike"), demonstrated what an Apple II was capable of doing.
Unfortunately, at the time, my Humble High School had nothing like it to offer, the most sophisticated piece of technology being a teletype (TTY) machine hooked up through an acoustic modem (plug the phone handset in when you hear the funny noises... e.g. Matthew Brodrick's "War Games") to the central Humble ISD office for some time-shared computing.
Not particularly exciting (TTY graphics suk when you've seen the Apple II’'s).
Given the lack of computing facilities at school, I resorted to vandalism. I made it a point, every time I visited the mall, to visit Radio Shack and type the following into every one of their TRS-80 based systems in sight:
10 PRINT "********* WELCOME TO RADIO SHACK **************"
20 GOTO 10
I shiver to think of the fear and panic I caused through such actions.
Fortunately, as I progressed through the school system, the computer systems progressed as well. By my junior year, at a new school of highness, we had a lab full of Apple II’s.... life was good. And then I went to college... wow... card punch… really.... Wow… “SILICON SLICK” became my online persona (since 1984)
In the summer of ‘82 Jack worked as a programmer for Trimarand Associates. He attended Texas A&M University that fall (and never left Bryan/College Station thereafter). Over the next 3 years he would work summers and winter breaks with Trimarand. He took a break from college and worked in the field as a Computer Programmer/Administrator while staying in College Station, TX. He created his own business 6S - Silicon Slick’s Software, Supplies & Support Services. Which provided support in solving hardware and software problems in the PC clone realm - from building computers to developing software.
Jack eventually returned to TAMU to complete his Bachelors in Computer Science ‘96 and by the encouragement of his advisor Nancy, he also got his Masters of Science ‘98. His thesis: Developing a Cost Model for Communication on a Symmetric Multiprocessor which had to do with High-Performance Computing, Parallel Processing and Scientific Computing. He also attempted his PhD and completed most of the coursework, but the thesis was his nemesis and he eventually left the program.
Working with various employers in the years following, Jack landed at TAMU’s High Performance Research Computing where he continued until his death. His most recent position was as the Lead System Administrator working on their newest supercomputer named “Grace”.
One of Jack’s greatest pleasures this century was attending the annual Quakecon conference and having the opportunity to wear his “Medic” hat when playing Quake and Return to Castle Wolfenstein. His role inside the games was to help others, yet outside the game he was also known for helping others by bringing extra cables and supplies. He had a brilliant mind and he was honest, witty and kind.
Jack was preceded in death by his mother, Sandra Rider Perdue in 2001. His father John R. Perdue of Houston, Texas and his sister Pamela S. Perdue of Winter Park, Florida will never forget those final moments that Jack chose to take flight. We are forever grateful to have known you Jack...