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Obituaries & Memorials

Florence Stefanovich – Memory Eternal ✝ Vjecnaja Pamjat

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The Clergy, Executive Board, and Members of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church express condolences to the family of Florence Stefanovich. Memory eternal.

Florence Stefanovich, age 94, passed away on August 28, 2022. A long-time resident of Valparaiso, she was born in Macedonia and immigrated as a young girl with her family to Gary, Indiana.

A graduate of Lew Wallace High School, Florence worked her entire career, 45 years, with the Lake Mortgage Company where she helped manage commercial lending.

Florence was a devoted daughter and caregiver to her father, Clement, who predeceased her as did her mother, Mary. Florence was also preceded in death by her brother, Steve (Rose) Stephan and brother Charles (Catherine) Stephan, as well as nephew, Jeffery Stephan.

Florence was an exceptionally loving and caring aunt to her nephews. She is survived by nephews James Stephan of Schererville, Mark (Kimberly) Stephan of Carmel, Bill (Carol) Stephan of Carmel, and Bob (Rebecca) Stephan of Munster, as well as numerous grand nieces and nephews.

Florence was also cherished by the family of Ann and Theodore Rudman whom she considered extended family, and she was ever grateful to her kind neighbors for their generous assistance to her.

Florence was a devoted member of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church for over 75 years and the family requests donations be made to the church in lieu of flowers – Click now to make a donation at www.saintsava.net/donate on our secure online form.

Funeral services will take place at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel in Merrillville on Friday, September
2 with a calling and services beginning at 10:00 a.m. followed by burial at Calumet Park
Cemetery.

Martha Roknich Lash – Memory Eternal ✝ Vjecnaja Pamjat

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The Clergy, Executive Board, and Members of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church express condolences to the family of Martha Roknich Lash. Memory eternal.

Martha Roknich Lash

Martha Roknich Lash age 79, of Grosse Ile Michigan, formerly of Northwest Indiana, passed away August 16, 2022 at her home.
Martha was a member of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, its Kolo Sestara, Choir and worked at the St. Sava Church for many years.

Graduate of Lew Wallace High School and went to IU Bloomington for several years.

Preceded in death by her parents Matjia and Mildred Roknich, sister Sandra Furto and her brother Robert Millich

Survived by her three loving children: Mark Lash, DrDarcy Lash (Cody Muller), Jamie (Jaclyn) Lash; Grandchildren, Nikola Lash, Joseph Lash, Chloe Lash, Allyson Lash and Aidan Ilg  Sister-in-Law Dori Lakich, niece Dawn Dikun (Ray) and Jana Maric(Mirko), Kumovi Linda Trkulja and Deena Galich

Martha loved traveling, theater and sports and would be glued to the TV every year during the NCAA March Madness tournament.  She grew up in Gary, Indiana and was a very proud first generation Serbian American. In her youth she attended Serbian camp every year. Later, as a young adult she coached the women’s Serbian basketball team for several years.

However, she will be remembered for her love of her family and her church.  She was known by everyone for her strong work ethic and managed Old Mill Pizzeria for many years before finding her way back to St. Sava. At St. Sava, she was in charge of catering, bookkeeping, Serb Fest and many events planned through the church.

Overall, her family was the most important thing to her. If they needed her she would drop everything and go wherever she was needed. When her children were young, Marcie was known for coaching her children’s sports teams and attending various sporting events they were involved in. She was also involved in school activities and later continued this level of involvement with her grandchildren. She did everything she could to attend family functions all over the world. Any event her family was involved in she was sure to show up regardless of how far she had to travel.

She was well known for her tight hugs, and her sincere, genuine love of life and laughter. She held tight to her Serbian traditions but marched to the beat of her own drum and lived for the moment. She will be forever dearly missed by her family and many other close friends and relatives.

Visitation will take place Monday, August 22, 2022 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel, 7535 Taft St, Merrillville with a Pomen Service at 7:00 p.m. Funeral Services and visitation will take place Tuesday, August 23 10-11:00  a.m. (visitation) with services at 11:00 a.m. directly at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, 9191 Mississippi Street, Merrillville with V. Rev. Marko Matic officiating. Interment Holy Cross (St. Sava) Cemetery. For further information, please call Mileva or David at 219-736-5840.

V. Rev. Bogdan Zjalic – Memory Eternal ✝ Vjecnaja Pamjat

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The Clergy, Executive Board, and Members of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church express condolences to the family of Very Rev. Stavrophor Bogdan Zjalic. Memory eternal.

Very Rev. Stavrophor Bogdan Zjalic was born on August 30, 1938 in Gredjani, Yugoslavia, to the late Sava and Stojanka Zjalic.

Very Reverend Stavrophor Bogdan Zjalic

He immigrated to Canada where, in 1962, with the blessings of the late Right Reverend Bishop Sava (Sarcevic) of Edmonton to enroll into the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, NY. In 1969, he was ordained a priest and was blessed in marriage to Melanija Radisic and 3 children (Sava, Vera and Stefan).

During his time in Canada and in the US, V. Rev. Bogdan Zjalic was instrumental in organizing and establishing numerous Serbian Orthodox Church congregations and affiliated organizations. He personally felt that his accomplishments were made possible by the intervention of God’s grace, Wisdom and Love. Throughout his service to God and the Serbian Orthodox Church, he has touched many lives with love, patience and spirituality. He peacefully passed to be with the Lord on August 16, 2022. Memory Eternal.

Visitation will take place Friday, August 19, 2022 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, 9191 Mississippi Street, Merrillville, IN with a Pomen Service at 7:00 p.m. with Gospel and Psalm readings following Pomen Service. V. Rev Marko Matic officiating.

Divine Liturgy Saturday, August 20, 2022 will begin at 9:00 a.m. with Funeral Service to follow at 10:30 a.m. Interment Holy Cross (St. Sava) Cemetery. Memorial luncheon will follow in the Pavilion at St. Sava Church.

For further information please call Mileva or David at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel (219) 736-5840.

Theodore Erceg – Memory Eternal ✝ Vjecnaja Pamjat

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The Clergy, Executive Board, and Members of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church express condolences to the family of Theodore Erceg. Memory eternal.

Theodore Erceg

Theodore Erceg, 91, of Chesterton, Indiana, formally of Valparaiso, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his family on Friday, August 5, 2022. Ted, the youngest of five siblings, was born August 9, 1930 in the Kirk Yard neighborhood of Gary, Indiana.

After graduation from Horace Mann High School in 1948, Ted enlisted in the United States Army. A member of the Chosin Few, Ted served as a high-speed radio operator in six campaigns during the Korean War. Upon returning home, Ted attended Indiana University and worked in the building trades. He then had a successful 36-year career in hospital/pharmaceutical sales. In 2003, Ted was hired by Valparaiso Public Schools as Director of Public Information.

Ted was a faithful, life-long member of St. Sava Church, where he served as church board president for six terms. He was most proud of the new church, where he had the honor of laying the first foundation block in 1986 and the last stone in 1991. Ted was also a founding member of the St. Sava Historical Society.

Writing was a passion for Ted. He was a regular contributor to Serb World, USA. In 1995, Ted published his book, With Pious Gravity, a biography of St, Sava volunteers in World War I, Its inclusion in the Library of Congress was a crowning achievement. In 2008, Ted was the recipient of the “Distinguished Hoosier Award” from Governor Mitch Daniels.

An avid sports enthusiast, Ted enjoyed working as a high school football referee for twelve years. Well into his forties, Ted played league hockey with the Valparaiso University hockey club. An advocate of sports for all ages, he particularly encouraged children and young adults to “just move”, and in his retirement, was an aide in the Valparaiso High School Athletic Department.

Ted was preceded in death by his parents, Mile and Danica Erceg, siblings Mirko, Ranko (Juanita), and Dorothy Erceg, and Helen (Louis) Paulson, in-laws Spero and Karavilka Petrovich, and son in-law George Eberhardt.

Ted is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Donna, and children Lauren (James) Thorstad, Susan Eberhardt, and Joann (Thomas) Meyer; grandchildren Nicholas Mandich, Natalie (Jason) Sutton, Thomas (Audrey) Thorstad, Andrew Thorstad, Henry (Mary) Meyer, Martin Meyer, Jason (Kristin) Eberhardt, and Julie (Doug Muller) Eberhardt; great-grandchildren Troy Feller, Samuel and Joseph Griffin, Cora Thorstad, Grace and James Sutton; Godchild Daniel Anomanni and family, dear friend Emil Conde, Kumovi, relatives and friends. Heartfelt appreciation to Dunes Hospice, especially nurses April and Pam.

Funeral Services will be held Tuesday, August 9, 2022 at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, 9191 Mississippi Street, Merrillville, IN, 46410, beginning with visitation from 9:00-11:00 a.m. with V Rev Marko Matic officiating. Funeral will begin at 11:00. Interment Holy Cross (St Sava) Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Sava Church – Click now to make a donation at www.saintsava.net/donate on our secure online website form, or to Dunes Hospice 4711 Evans Valparaiso, IN 46383. For further information please call Mileva or David at 219-736-5840

Mirjana “Beba” Radovich – Memory Eternal ✝ Vjecnaja Pamjat

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The Clergy, Executive Board, and Members of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church express condolences to the family of Mirjana “Beba” Radovich. Memory eternal.

Mirjana “Beba” Radovich

Mirjana “Beba” Radovich, age 56, of Chesterfield, MO formerly of Crown Point, IN passed away July 26, 2022.

Preceded in death by her father Vukosav Radovich.

Mirjana is survived by her beloved son, Stevan Torrez; loving mother Desanka Radovich; adored brothers Ranko Radovich, Miladin (Mike) Radovich, Rade (Ray) Natasha Radovich, nephew Maxim Radovich; Kumovi Stevan & Sladjana Vojcanin; and many other family, friends and Kumovi all over the United States and Europe. Vecnaja Pamjat.

Visitation will take place Tuesday, August 2, 2022 at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, 9191 Mississippi St., Merrillville from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. with Funeral Service beginning at 11:30 a.m. V. Rev. Aleksandar Novakovic, officiating. Interment Calumet Park Cemetery. For further information contact Mileva or David at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel (219) 736-5840.

Blessing of graves Memorial Day Weekend 2022

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With the weekend of Memorial Day approaching, let us remember all of the departed from this life, their names and their deeds, and let us rededicate ourselves to work for peace and good will and love among all people.

Beginning Saturday, May 28 Father Marko Matic will be blessing graves at Graceland cemetery in Valparaiso. Sunday, May 29 Father Marko will be blessing graves at our Holy Cross Cemetery at St. Sava Church. Monday, May 30 Father Marko will be blessing graves at Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville and Oak Hill Cemetery in Gary. The complete list of times is available below.

In these days when so much is said about the high cost of living, it is fitting to pause on Memorial Day and acknowledge the great price that thousands of others have paid that we might live in this land of freedom, the United States of America.

Memorial Day came as a result of Civil War. This was America’s greatest war – in the lives that were lost, in the issues and principles at stake, in the fact that it was fought on American soil, and in the results that have come from it. American Land flowed red with blood in this terrible conflict. It was fitting that a solemn day of memory be set aside for such a conflict as that.

Just as the Jewish people have their feast of Passover to remind them of their freedom from Egyptian bondage, so America has its Memorial Day to remind us of the Salvation and rebirth of the United States as a free nation.

Since that time, Memorial Day has become a national holiday to honor the dead of all wars. Even more, it has become a day in which fitting remembrance is made of all of our relatives, kumovi and friends who rest in peace.

On this Memorial Day Weekend, let us remember all of the departed from this life, their names and their deeds, and let us rededicate ourselves to work for peace and good will and love among all people.

Memorial Day Weekend May 28-30, 2022

Services offered by Saint Sava Church

Saturday:

  • 9:00 a.m. – Parastos and blessing of graves at the Graceland Cemetery in Valparaiso

Sunday:

  • Parastos and blessing of graves at the Holy Cross Cemetery (at Saint Sava Church) immediately after Holy Liturgy

Monday:

  • 10:00 a.m. – Parastos and blessing of graves at the Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville
  • 1:00 p.m. –  Parastos and blessing of graves at the Oak Hill Cemetery in Gary

Desse Crnoevich – Memory Eternal ✝ Vjecnaja Pamjat

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The Clergy, Executive Board, and Members of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church express condolences to the family of Desse Crnoevich (née Chelovich). Memory eternal.

Desse Crnoevich

Desse Crnoevich (née Chelovich), age 98, passed away peacefully on May 6, 2022.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband Milan “Mickey” Crnoevich and cherished son Michael “Butch” Crnoevich. She is survived by her devoted son Charles (Marcia) Crnoevich, adored grandchildren Charles and Alexandra, and many dear nieces, nephews, and kumovi.

Desse and Mickey operated the Glen Park Tavern for over thirty years and were lifelong members of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church. Desse was also a lifelong member of the Church’s Circle of Serbian Sisters and, in retirement, was the financial secretary of the Church for twelve years. She was a champion bowler and an even better baker. Her family especially enjoyed her Christmas cookies and her chocolate chiffon cake.

Desse lived a long, full life and will be missed.

Visitation will begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church. The funeral service will begin at 10 a.m. at St. Sava with the Very Reverend Marko Matic officiating. The burial will follow at Calumet Park Cemetery. For further information, please call Mileva or David at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel, 219-736-5840.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church – Click now to make a donation at www.saintsava.net/donate on our secure online form.

Mille Kokotovich – Memory Eternal ✝ Vjecnaja Pamjat

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The Clergy, Executive Board, and Members of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church express condolences to the family of Mille Kokotovich (née Kuprešanin). Memory eternal.

Mille Kokotovich

Mille Kokotovich (née Kuprešanin), age 92, passed away peacefully April 8, 2022. Mille was a life-long member of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church and its Circle of Serbian Sisters, Kolo Sestara.

She is preceded in death by her husband William Kokotovich; parents Dusan and Sofi Kuprešanin;  and sister Ann Keprešanin Markovic.

Mille is survived by her 4 loving children, Dara (Tom) Perry, Vasilije (Mileva) Kokotovich, Desa Kokotovich- Halstead, Kevin (Betty) Kokotovich; beloved grandchildren, Timothy, Jacquelyn, Kristina, Nicole, Dustin, Aleksandra & Natalija; cherished great-grandchildren, Matthew, Kalani, Aria, Lawson & Brynn; Nieces and Nephews, Chris, Karen & Sophie; and dear Kumovi Gerbick, Ivankovich, Rudman & Derado.

Visitation will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 19, 2022 at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church. Funeral service will begin at 11:00 a.m. at St. Sava with V. Rev. Marko Matic officiating. Public burial will follow at Calumet Park Cemetery. For further information please call Mileva at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel 219-736-5840.

Any expressions of sympathy including flowers, cards, or donations to the family in Mille’s loving memory are welcome.

Mladen Bobic – Memory Eternal ✝ Vjecnaja Pamjat

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The Clergy, Executive Board, and Members of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church express condolences to the family of Mladen Bobic. Memory eternal.

Mladen Bobic

Mladen Bobic age 64 of Schererville, IN passed away April 7, 2022. Son of Milos and Savka. He is survived by his loving wife of 28 years, Milka. Daughters: Tatjana and Radmila. Future son in law Richard. Brother Rade. Kumovi and dear friends.

Mladen was born in Otocac, Croatia. He attended school in Zagreb and Gospic, Croatia where he studied to be an electrician. He then worked in Rijeka, Croatia for 14 years.

In 1994, he married Milka and had two daughters. In the year 2000, the family immigrated to the United States and were generously taken in by Jovan and Mara Mileusnic. He then continued to work as an electrician on boats for numerous years.

Funeral Services for Mladen Bobic will take place Friday, April 15, 2022 at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Merrillville, IN at 11:00 AM, with visitation being held an hour prior to the service. At rest, Holy Cross Cemetery Merrillville, IN.

Dragica Matijevich – Memory Eternal ✝ Vjecnaja Pamjat

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The Clergy, Executive Board, and Members of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church express condolences to the family of Dragica Matijevich. Memory eternal.

Dragica Matijevich age 84 of Crown Point, Indiana passed away Monday, March 21, 2022. She is survived by her loving daughters;  Anka Matijevich and Danka Lekovic,  and son Rade Vuckovic.  Five grandchildren;  Nikola, Ivan, Vladimir, Stefan, and Natalia.  Dragica is preceded in death by her husband Radomir.

Funeral Service for Dragica will take place Friday, March 25, 2022 directly at the St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church Merrillville, Indiana at 10:00 a.m.  Friends are invited to visit with Dragica’s family on Friday at Church from 9:00 a.m. until the time of service.  At rest, Holy Cross Cemetery Merrillville, Indiana.