John Anthony Perushek, 86, of Ely passed away on Thursday, April 4, 2013. He lost his battle with metastatic prostate cancer at home, with his family members and dog Precious by his side.John was born May 4, 1926 in Aurora, MN to Anton J. and Mary (Markovich) Perushek Sr. He was an Army veteran of WWII and a member of the American Legion and Knights of Columbus.He worked for 36 years as a custodian at Ely Memorial High School. As a young man he worked with the Forest Service in Isabella, and at Canoe Country Outfitters for over 40 years.
John was a huge supporter of the Ely community and proudly told everyone that it was the best town in the world. His 24 years of retirement were filled with walking, swimming (a favorite was Farm Lake), solving jigsaw puzzles, cooking/baking, string art and socializing with relatives and friends. John was always there for everyone to lend a helpful hand, always keeping busy and loved meeting new people. He loved life (and Miller Lite with a good joke). He will be remembered affectionately by all who knew and loved him. His many social visits were accompanied by homemade buttermilk brownies and a cheerful attitude.
He was married to Frances (Slabodnik) Perushek until her passing on January 10, 1999. He married Mary Alice (Porthan) on May 14, 2003. Their initial years of marriage were spent between Ely and Mesa, AZ. They enjoyed traveling the Southwest, socializing with friends at the afternoon pool gatherings and hosting friends and visitors. They returned to Ely in 2010 to reside fulltime.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sisters Mary Pucel, Rose Pucel, Olga Slogar; his twin brother Anton “Tony” and his half-brothers, Joe, Ed and Ludwig Mistek.
Survivors include his wife, Mary Alice, daughter Francine (Richard) Schaefer, sister Helen Kochevar and numerous nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his wife's family from England, granddaughter Jacqueline Binney and great grandson Edward.
The family is requesting donations in lieu of flowers to East Range Hospice, 901 9th Street N., Suite 215, Virginia, MN 55792.
Services at 11:00 Monday at St. Anthony's Catholic Church, Ely, visitation one hour prior to service. Internment in Ely Cemetery following the service. Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.