John David Purucker 1960-2023


Long-time Malibu resident John Purucker passed away on Thursday, September 28th, 2023, after a hard-fought battle with cancer. He was sixty-two years old.

John moved to Malibu in 1967 at the age of six and enjoyed getting into trouble from day one. He lived life to the fullest, always pushing the limits of what he could do. John loved traveling across the country, backpacking, hiking, riding BMX and dirt bikes, kayaking, and off-roading. He loved working on his cars, trucks, and motorcycles and showed exceptional skill at taking engines apart and putting them back together.

John is fondly remembered as the lead guitarist for the band “Wandermere”, which delighted Malibu audiences for years. He loved music, and there was hardly ever a day when there wasn’t a guitar in his hand. More often than not, John could be found strumming away any song that came to mind or just making something up on his own.

A genuinely caring individual who could make friends with anyone, John picked up conversations with strangers daily. He treated everyone with the same respect and was never shy about saying, “hey, how’s it going?” or giving random funny and good-natured commentary.

John was hard-working and would do just about anything for anyone, no matter how big or small the job. John attained his teaching credentials from Cal State Long Beach and taught auto shop in Lake Tahoe until his entrepreneurial spirit led him to start his own heavy equipment business. John’s big yellow Peterbilt dump truck and backhoe were his pride and joy.

John is survived by his four children, Justin, Christopher, Caitlyn, and Emily, his mother, Mary, his sister, Kathie, and his ever-faithful dog Molly. He joins in eternal rest his beloved wife, Debbie, father Fred, and sister Mary.

In the last year and a half, between rounds of chemo, John still insisted upon going to Yosemite and Lake Tahoe and going for walks and hikes. John kept singing until he couldn’t sing anymore. May his music always play in the hearts and minds of those who knew him, may his kindness always be remembered, and may he rest in peace.

For info about the Funeral and Memorial, friends and family can contact