John Steven Perak

John Steven Perak

October 10, 1940 - November 02, 2023

John Steven Perak

October 10, 1940 - November 02, 2023


John Steven Perak
October 10, 1940 – November 2, 2023

John Steven Perak, 83, died peacefully, surrounded by family on All Souls Day, November 2, 2023. John was born October 10, 1940, in Chicago, Illinois, to John and Ann Perak. He attended Mount Carmel High School where his love of acting was ignited. He continued to experience success on the Chicago stage until he enlisted in the United States Army.

While serving as Second Lieutenant Company A, 1st Battalion 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division, he was decorated with the Purple Heart and Vietnam Service Medal. Upon retirement from the military, John moved to Hollywood, California, to enjoy a long and successful career in the Major Motion Picture Industry, starring in television films, such as Coffy, A Woman Called Moses, Brinks: The Great Robbery, True Grit: A Further Adventure, and such notable television series as Ironside, Bonanza, Cannon, Police Story, Barnaby Jones, The Rockford Files, Charlie’s Angels, Bret Maverick, and The A-Team, among others.

After falling in love with his first wife, Darlene, and beginning a family, John began working behind the scenes for CBS Studios on many hit shows such as Seinfeld, Will & Grace, and Evening Shade, until he retired in 2003. After the passing of Darlene, John found love again with his second wife, Beth, and moved to Laguna Woods in 2007.

He continued to share his many talents with the Old Pros Club, directing and starring in some of his favorite stage shows, such as Death of a Salesman, Lion in Winter, Macbeth, and old time radio shows. He shared his love of research and the stage by crafting and delivering lectures on Shakespeare.

John had a deep love of his Roman Catholic faith and put his faith into action by leading bible studies and reading as a lector at his local church St. Nicholas. Above all else, John’s strongest love was for his family and friends and supporting and encouraging others through his own authentic example of joy and storytelling.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 16 years, Elizabeth; son, John Perak, and his wife Debora; daughter, Kelly Lutes, and her husband David, and their children Abby, Charlotte, and Maxwell; Beth’s children, Christian Andersen and his wife Elaine and their son Evan, Sean Andersen and his wife Jessica and their children Foster, Josie, Norah, Aislin, and Kari Harris and her late husband Eric and their children Michael, Grace, and Claire. He is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Darlene; mother, Ann; and father, John.

A vigil will be held at O’Connor Chapel, 25301 Alicia Pkway, Laguna Hills from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. on Sunday, November 19, 2023. The vigil service can be viewed at

A funeral Mass will be held the following day at St. Nicholas Catholic Church, 24252 El Toro Rd, Laguna Woods at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, November 20, 2023 with a reception immediately following. The funeral Mass can be live-streamed at

In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation be made to the Purple Heart Foundation.

If you are unable to join us for the service, please join us in spirit from wherever you are on December 10 at 5 p.m. Pacific Time to say, “Živjeli!” (pronounced as zheev-yeh-lee) which is a Croatian toast to joy and friendship.

Vigil Service

  • Date & Time: November 19, 2023 (2:00 PM - 4:00 PM)
  • Venue: O'Connor Mortuary
  • Location: 25301 Alicia Parkway Laguna Hills, CA 92653 - (Get Directions)
  • Phone Number: (949) 581-4300

Funeral Mass

  • Date & Time: November 20, 2023 (10:30 AM)
  • Venue: St. Nicholas Catholic Church
  • Location: 24252 El Toro Rd. Laguna Woods, CA 92637 - (Get Directions)

Purple Heart Foundation

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