Sperie Peter Perakos and wife Natalie “Nikki” Pappas Perakos of Orange, inseparable and united for more than 60 years, died respectively on April 5 and April 24, 2021.
Sperie, 105, was born in New Britain, CT, son of the late Peter G. and Julia Ladany Perakos; he was a graduate of Yale University, Pierson College Class of 1938.
While later attending Harvard Law School, he was required to return to CT to assist in the family’s theater business, founded by his father. Sperie Perakos enjoyed a long career as President and CEO of Connecticut Theatre Associates. He served the U.S. Army in WWII as a Captain in Intelligence in the 448th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion which participated in the Normandy invasion.
He received a Bronze Star and other honors for his service. Given his effort in France during WWII, he was awarded the insignia of Knight of the National Order of the French Legion of Honor in 2020.
Sperie was proud of his Alma Mater. He was a fellow of Pierson College and active with Yale University throughout his life. Especially worthy of note was his dedication to the Peabody Museum of Natural History for numerous years. He was also close to the Yale School of Drama, organizing various initiatives. He remained active as Class Secretary.
Natalie “Nikki” Pappas Perakos, 82, was born in Detroit, MI, the first child of the late George Harris Pappas and Sophia Taxintar Pappas.
She studied at the Detroit Conservatory of Music and with Marcus Kellerman. She was the youngest member of the Michigan Opera Company and appeared as a soloist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. She studied at the Yale Schools of Music and Drama. Her acting endeavors included television and theatre productions.
Nikki was a fellow of Pierson College and the first woman to be appointed to the Yale Alumni Association. She aided her husband Sperie in his activities with Yale until the end of their lives. She was a patron of the arts and volunteer for various organizations. She contributed to the MMA Costume Institute, notably with the Charles James Butterfly Dress.
Although Nikki worked in design, she was often at her husband’s side with his theatre circuit work. Given their involvement in the sector, the couple was active with the Connecticut Association of Theatre Owners (CATO) for many years.
Sperie was assisted by his wife Nikki in the production of the 1961 film “Antigone”, starring Irene Papas and members of the Greek Royal Theatre. The film was acclaimed internationally.
Mr. and Mrs. Perakos were longtime parishioners at St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church in Orange. Sperie served as a past District Governor and a lifetime member of the American Hellenic Progressive Association “AHEPA”.
The couple loved life and were inseparable. They brought much love, wisdom, and joy to those their lives had touched. They will be missed greatly. They are survived by several nieces and nephews.
Sperie Perakos is survived by sisters-in-law, Urania K. Perakos and Marilyn Perakos, both of FL. He was predeceased by a sister, Artemis Perakos-Miller; and brothers, Dr. George Perakos, John P. Perakos, Atty. Steven E. Perakos, and Peter (Socky) G. Perakos, Jr.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, May 4, 2021, at St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, 480 Racebrook Road, Orange, and can be viewed online at www.saintbarbara.org.
Interment with Military Honors will follow in Grove Street Cemetery, 227 Grove Street, New Haven, and can be viewed online at www.facebook.com/WakeleeMemorial.
Additional information and online condolences available at www.wakeleememorial.com .