Obituary: Percy James ‘Perk’ Orthwein II

GULF STREAM — Percy James Orthwein II, known as “Perk,” died Sept. 19 following a magnificent life — having spent 42 years with his beloved wife, Joan Kroeger Orthwein. He was 76.

12239455060?profile=RESIZE_180x180Mr. Orthwein grew up in a well-known and respected family, in which hard work, creativity and integrity were the cornerstones. His great-grandfather was August Busch, CEO of Anheuser-Busch Inc.; his grandfather Percy Orthwein was president of D’Arcy Advertising; and his father, James Orthwein, owned the Patriots football team.

A native of St. Louis, Mr. Orthwein was an established businessman, investor, marketing aficionado, boatsman and lover of the outdoors. He attended Washington University in St. Louis Olin School of Business and graduated with an MBA from St. Louis University.

Mr. Orthwein was senior vice president and management supervisor worldwide for the Anheuser-Busch account at D’Arcy Advertising, where he worked from 1973-1984. From 1985-2018, he was owner and chairman of the board at Double Eagle Distributing, an Anheuser-Busch wholesaler in South Florida. During this time he also served as president of Eagle Snacks, until its sale to Procter & Gamble in 1996.

Mr. Orthwein started Boomers family entertainment center in 1993, which merged with Race-O-Rama and sold to Palace Entertainment in 2002.

He was very involved in the community and served many years as a trustee for the Bethesda Hospital Foundation and as a Palm Beach County Hospital commissioner.

He was a member of The Gulf Stream Golf Club, The Gulf Stream Bath & Tennis Club and The Little Club in Gulf Stream; The Watch Hill Yacht Club and The Misquamicut Club in Watch Hill, Rhode Island; and the St. Louis Country Club and the Racquet Club in St. Louis.

“Perk” was the quintessential character, known for his charm, humor and compassionate nature. He could often be heard quoting August Busch’s famous tagline, “Making friends is our business.”

His enthusiasm for life, people and animals was contagious and he embraced them all with a full heart. With a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face, he left an indelible impression on everyone he met.

He was most adored by his three children: Katherine Busch Orthwein (Brendan Boyle of Gulf Stream), Elizabeth James Orthwein (Delray Beach) and William Chase Orthwein (Delray Beach).

He was predeceased by his father and mother, James Busch Orthwein and Katherine Gatch Wheeler. In addition to his wife, a Gulf Stream town commissioner, he is survived by his sister, Katherine Orthwein Snowden, his brother, James Busch Orthwein II, and his half-sister, Romaine Clara Busch Orthwein.

He will be profoundly missed by his family, including his loving grandchildren, Alexandra Grace Boyle and Hunter Charles Boyle.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Gulf Stream School or Baptist Health Foundation.

— Obituary submitted by the family

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