February 16, 1943 - August 28, 2021
IN LOVING MEMORY MARIE FAITH PERRAKIS 1943-2021 Marie Faith Perrakis was called home to be with Jesus on Saturday, August 28. Born on February 16, 1943 in Bentleyville, Pennsylvania, Marie was the youngest child of two children. Marie and her beloved older sister Joyce moved to California when she was three years old. Marie spent many of her childhood years with her mother, sister, step-father Howard, who she referred to throughout her life as her “daddy”, and his mother who we all refer to as “Grandma” Cora. Marie’s stories of Grandma Cora were some of her favorite childhood stories to tell including the time that Cora surprised her with a beautiful homemade cake, which Marie proudly took to school for a bake sale. It was the prettiest cake of all and when she described it, you could picture the fluffy white frosting, the coconut, the cherry on top, all made lovingly just for our mom. The generosity and kindness that we always heard about Marie’s Grandma became some of the signature characteristics that Marie was known and well-loved for throughout her life – the attention to detail and the way she put her whole heart into anything she did for others. Marie’s middle name, Faith, symbolized how she made her biggest mark on the world – by sharing her faith and connection with God with so many people throughout her life. During the late 1960s, Marie became a famed hairdresser, known for creating beehive hairdos and over-the-top hair creations that were iconic during that era. Marie took pride in sharing her love of hair and beauty with others as an instructor at Marinello School of Beauty. During that time, Marie and her friend Mona would enjoy evenings out on the town, including their favorite local diner and restaurant, House of Raymond. Marie would flirt with the shy Greek foreign-exchange student – the bus boy behind the counter, named Nick. This would become the start of their life-long love story. They went on to get married and Nick became a loving dad to Marie’s son, Jeff. The restaurant, House of Raymond in Hawthorne, would eventually become theirs as Nick and his brother Mike went on to become co-owners. Nick and Marie moved to Corona, California and had two daughters – Athena and Kristin. They later moved to Palos Verdes Estates which has been their home for over forty years. Marie used to visit the cliffs of Palos Verdes Estates as a child with her dad – flying kites along the stretch of land that is now Paseo Del Mar. She remembered throughout her life telling her dad and sister during their visits that someday she was going to move to this beautiful city by the sea and she made that dream come true alongside her husband, Nick. In Palos Verdes Estates, Marie became the mom everyone wished was theirs. From her position as the Girl Scout Leader of Troop 243 to always being the room mother and carpool mom, Marie was loved by all the neighborhood children who still remember her for her bright smile and the unforgettable memories she created for them. They always joked that it was “Troop Beverly Hills” as Marie was not the type to rough it, instead showing up for a camp out with her coffee pot and air mattress. She is remembered by so many as the Queen of the Candy Necklaces and Birthday Parties and going BIG for the Holidays. Marie loved Halloween, made elaborate homemade costumes, and would dress up every year (usually as a witch in full green makeup) and go door to door Trick or Treating in Lunada Bay with her daughters and friends in tow. From her sparkly gold “Jesus tree” to annual German Christmas inspired candle hours, Marie put her whole heart into creating Magical Christmases for family and friends. For her, the most important part was reminding people about the “real meaning of Christmas'' which inspired her famous “Jesus Cakes.” Each year, on Christmas Eve, Marie would create a Birthday Party for Jesus complete with a birthday cake and candles. This became a favorite Perrakis tradition, which her children will carry on and hope others will join them in the coming years. And of course, Easters were over the top in the Perrakis house with Marie’s famous Easter Baskets that she created for many friends and family members over the years. She would stay up late the night before, glue gun in hand, making sure they were just perfect – a tradition she got from her own mother. Marie cherished her role in life as a mother to her three children. She worked tirelessly as a single mother to provide a happy childhood for Jeff before marrying her husband Nick. She was so proud of her son Jeff for graduating with honors from UCLA, having a successful career as an accomplished software engineer and information security expert, for his kindness and compassion, and his ability to (sometimes) beat her at gin rummy and Scrabble. She stood by her daughter Athena’s side as she graduated from USC with her PhD, had her two beautiful children, authored books, and created her own thriving wellness company. She took pride in her youngest daughter Kristin’s accomplishments, moving to San Francisco and building an exciting marketing career as an executive at Williams Sonoma, working with celebrities and chefs and getting to travel across the country. Marie’s love of all animals ran deep – and her life was filled with so many pets, most of which she rescued, that were like family members to her. Over the years, she was the mother to many dogs, more than a dozen cats, a flock of blue jays, some raccoons (all named Rosie or Rocky), and even a few peacocks! When she would run into cats in the wild, she would immediately head home and come back with a bag of Fancy Feast and some water in hand ready to help. We can only imagine that she was met by so many thankful and familiar feline faces at the Rainbow Bridge, including a few of her favorites – Chelsea, Mimi, Spooky, and Nubbins. One of Marie’s biggest dreams in life was to become a grandmother, which came true when her grandson, Nick and granddaughter, Zoe were born. Marie became lovingly known as “gooma” which was what her grandson Nick called her before he could pronounce the word grandma. That name stuck and she loved it. Together our mom and dad became “Papa Gooma” before our eyes, and their grandchildren became their sun, moon and stars. Marie was so incredibly proud of her Nick and Zoe. If you ask Marie’s friends what they will remember most about Marie, it is her tireless faith and belief in God. Marie was a “prayer warrior” for so many and for everyone she knew, Marie praying over you or for you meant that you could be at peace and know that your worries and cares were safe in God’s hands. She had a saying “if you pray don’t worry and if you worry don’t pray” and that was her motto throughout life. Marie took years to write out the bible onto paper, word by word, so that she could truly understand the word of God. It filled up over five binders – each word written in her beautiful cursive handwriting. One of our most coveted possessions of our moms is her bible, filled with so many handwritten notes, tear stained pages, and stories and prayers for people she loved. Marie survived cancer in her younger days and believed that the lord had healed her and that her role was to help others believe and have faith. She certainly brought so many people to God over the years and carried so many people through their darkest days. We pray and have faith that she will continue to watch over us all in our times of need. We have truly gained a guardian angel (and perhaps had one all along). There were so many people waiting in heaven for Marie that she couldn’t wait to see. Her beautiful sister and best friend, Joyce who she missed every day of her life. We can picture them playing cards and catching up on old times. Her mom, Pearl, who she lovingly cared for as she grew older. We know that they are sitting together on a balcony somewhere laughing and Marie is proudly showing her photos of her grandbabies. Her cousin Tom, who Marie just loved, who used to share her passion for Vegas and slot machines. We can only imagine the fun that they are having together again. We know that Grandma Cora made her a welcome home cake and that her daddy was one of the first people she saw and hugged. Marie couldn’t wait to meet Jesus and we know that she is held in his arms, just as she was when she was here with us. We will think of her every time there is a beautiful sunset – she always said that this was the lord’s favorite time of the day. We will forever include her in the list of things we are most thankful for every Thanksgiving. We will stop to feed and care for the animals that cross our paths that need us, remembering her words that God notices and cares for all living things, knowing even when a sparrow falls. We will look for signs that she is with us, like finding a penny here and there (which reminded her of her sister), seeing a rainbow (because her daddy told her he would make them for her), or some new pet that shows up at our doorstep waiting to be fed. We will hear her laugh and remember what it felt like to hold her hand and hug her. We will look out for one another and remind each other to wear a coat when it's cold and keep some cash in your wallet just in case. We will miss her each and every day that we are here and find her first when we get to heaven. Marie is survived by her amazing husband, Nick, her children, Jeff Shubert, Athena Perrakis (Dave), Kristin Perrakis, grandchildren Nick and Zoe, and her feline sidekick, Lola. A committal ceremony will be held at Inglewood Park Cemetery at 1:15 pm on Friday, September 10, 2021. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to southbaycats.com, a local South Bay animal rescue organization, in honor of Marie Perrakis, so that she can continue her work in helping to rescue the most fragile of God's creatures.
IN LOVING MEMORY MARIE FAITH PERRAKIS 1943-2021 Marie Faith Perrakis was called home to be with Jesus on Saturday, August 28. Born on February 16, 1943 in Bentleyville, Pennsylvania, Marie was the youngest child of two children. Marie and her... View Obituary & Service Information
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IN LOVING MEMORY
MARIE FAITH PERRAKIS
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