Ida Perkins West was born November 24, 1936. She was the only child of John Marshall and Estella Mae Perkins. Ida departed this life on Monday, March1st after a brief illness. Ida was a 1952 graduate of Charles Sumner High School, and received her degree in Physical Therapy at Saint Louis University. She was the first African American woman in the State of Missouri to head the physical therapy department at State Hospital on Arsenal Street. Ida took intense pride in her career, and as a consequence made a difference in the lives of many of her patients.
In addition to her career, Ida was an activist with a passion for voting and voting rights. In 1984 she became the first African American President of the League of Women Voters St. Louis City Chapter. In that role, she was instrumental in recruiting women of color to that organization as well as leading several voter initiatives. Ida loved to travel, her forays included Europe, Israel, and Cuba. Her other passions were crossword puzzles, history politics and football. She leaves behind her only son Phillip Johnson and his wife Deidra Kemp along with many family and friends who miss her deeply. A memorial service is planned for the fall in her honor.