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Obituaries & Memorials

Donald Potrebic – Memory Eternal ✝ Vjecnaja Pamjat

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Donald Potrebic

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

Donald Potrebic, age 81, born November 4, 1939 in Gary, IN to Peter and Olga Potrebic (nee Trbovich), passed away on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, peacefully at home.

Don was a loving and devoted husband to his late wife Ellen (nee Conway) for 46 years, and a loving and proud Dad to Heather and his late son Nick. His grandchildren, Taylor, Nicole and Tyler Nicholas were his ultimate joys. He loved his family more than anything in this world; nothing ever came before his family. He loved music and loved to dance.

Don is survived by his daughter, Heather Isley of Hobart; his granddaughter, Taylor Reid of Colorado and his grandson, Tyler Reid of Valparaiso; his nephews: Ron (Shaina) Potrebic, Mike (Lisa) Bilkey, Scott (Kim) Bilkey, and Patrick Conway, his nieces: Donna (Stacy) Adams, Rhonda (Kevin) Curtis, Karen (Lee) Jones and Beth (Patrick) Eder; sister-in-laws: Barb Potrebic and Kaye Conway; lifelong best friends, his “Barbara Ann” and Bill Gallo; and several great nieces and nephews as well as great-great nieces and nephews and many friends. He is preceded in death by his wife, Ellen (Len); parents, Peter and Olga Potrebic; and son, Nick (Donald Nicholas);brother, Ron Potrebic; brother-in-law, James Conway; mother-in-law, Catherine Conway and father-in-law, George Conway.

Don was an avid sports fan and a graduate of Hobart High School, class of 1957. He lived by the motto “once a Brickie, always a Brickie”.

Don enjoyed politics and helping his community serving on the Hobart City Council for 8 years before moving on to County Council serving for another term. Don proudly served in the United States Army 101st Airborne as a paratrooper and medic and worked at US Steel in the 84-inch hot strip mill as a roller for 44 years before he retired.

Don lived a very full and active life. He is loved and missed so very much for his sense of humor, his kindness and love.

Visitation will be held Sunday, September 19, 2021, from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at BURNS FUNERAL HOME, 10101 Broadway, Crown Point. Funeral Service will take place on Monday, September 20, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. directly at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, 9191 Mississippi Street, Merrillville. Interment Calumet Park Cemetery, Merrillville.

Bozo (Bogdan) Djankovich – Memory Eternal ✝ Vjecnaja Pamjat

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Bozo (Bogdan) Djankovich

The Clergy, Executive Board, and Members of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church express condolences to the family of Bozo (Bogdan) Djankovich. Memory eternal.

Bozo (Bogdan) Djankovich, age 76 of Hobart, passed away peacefully with his family by his side, Sunday, August 15, 2021. Bozo was born on March 30, 1945 in Katinovac, Croatia.

He was a member of St Sava Serbian Orthodox Church and a long time member of the Avala Soccer Club. He was a retiree of The Budd Company.

Bozo was preceded in death by his parents, Djuro and Stanica and brothers Ilija and Milan.

He is survived by his loving wife of 53 years Mary Ann (Marija) Djankovich; three beloved children, Magda (Mico) Serdar, Milan (Milanka) Djankovich and Vesna (Stevan) Gagic; four cherished grandchildren, Aleksandar and Aleksandra Serdar, Marina (Andrew) and Miki Djankovich, and his beloved great-grandaughter Alena Rae; two siblings, Milka Bajic and Jeka Kolundzija; many other nieces, nephews, Kumovi and friends in the United States, Canada and Serbia.

He will always be remembered for his love of his homeland, his family and for his world travels.

Funeral Services will be held, Wednesday, August 18, 2021 at 10 am at St Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, 9191 Mississippi St, Merrillville with visitation beginning at 9am, V. Rev Marko Matic, officiating. Interment St Sava Holy Cross Cemetery. Vecnaja Pamjat.

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

For more information, please visit: https://mycalumetpark.com/2021/08/15/bozo-bogdan-djankovich/

John “Johnny Boy” Micic – Memory Eternal ✝ Vjecnaja Pamjat

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John “Johnny Boy” Micic

The Clergy, Executive Board, and Members of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church express condolences to the family of John “Johnny Boy” Micic. Memory eternal.

John “Johnny Boy” Micic, Age 55, of Muncie and Portage, IN, passed away on Wednesday, May 27, 2021. He was always excited to see people and he loved everyone that he met. He would enter a crowd of 5 to a couple hundred and say “everybody is here!” He would then try to approach every person to show his newest radio, purse, or sports attire.

John loved to shop as well for the newest radio and/or purse. Anytime it was time for lunch or dinner, he would let people know he wanted to eat cheeseburgers and some French fries from McDonalds. He also loved going to the movies and watching comedies and action thrillers. He didn’t care what he had to snack on, as long as he had his favorite drink, a large Pepsi. He liked to watch Chicago sports on TV, and he loved the Chicago Bears and would always spell it out “B-E-A-R-S, DA BEARS!”

He is preceded in death by his parents, Milan & Koviljka Micic, his brother, George Micic, his sister Millie Micic, and his nephew Michael Micic. John is survived by his sister Mary (David) Nelson, Anne (Roger) Crafton, Nickey (Minerva) Micic, and Dona Micic. He will sadly be missed by his nieces and nephews, Mandy, Katie, Zoe, Noah, and Jonah, Vanessa, Rachel,  Kumovi, and family and friends.

Visitation services will be held on Friday, June 4, from 9:00-10:00 a.m. at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church at 9191 Mississippi St., Merrillville, IN 46410, followed by a Service at 10:00 a.m. with Father Marko Matic officiating. Interment Calumet Park Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Sava Serbian Church. For further information please call Mileva or David at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel 219-736-5840.

For more information, visit: https://mycalumetpark.com/2021/05/27/john-micic/

 

Donna Winarski – 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 Donna Winarski. Memory eternal.

Donna Winarski (nee Drca), age 56 of St. John, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Monday, May 17, 2021. She was born in Gary, IN on November 5, 1964.

She is survived by her loving husband, Steve; sons: Mike, Nickolas and Steven; sister Millie (Thomas Kus) Djuric; niece Donna (Adam) Bruner and grand niece Cassandra Bruner; nephew and nieces: Adam, Monica, Jessica and Lauryn; great nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by her parents Dusan and Sophia Drca and nephew Steve Djuric.

Funeral service will be held on Friday, May 21, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at the St. Sava Serbvian Orthodox Church, Merrillville with Rev. Marko Matic officiating. At rest St. Johnt. Joseph Cemetery, Hammond, IN.

Friends are invited to visit with Donna’s family on Thursday, May 20, 2021 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. at the LINCOLN RIDGE FUNERAL HOME, 7607 W. Lincoln Hwy., Schererville (Rt. 30 east of Cline Ave.). Pomen prayer servce Thursday evening at 5:00 p.m.

Donna dearly loved her children and family. She was a member of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church and she retired from nursing to be a stay at home mom to her children. She will be remembered as a loving wife, mother, sister, aunt and friend to everyone.

May she rest in peace.

For more information, please visit: https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/nwitimes/name/donna-winarski-obituary?pid=198705948

 

Donald M. Pujo – 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 Donald M. Pujo. Memory eternal.

Donald M. Pujo, age 79, of Crown Point, IN, passed away on Thursday, April 15, 2021.

Donald is survived by his sisters: Ann Marie Pujo, Angeline (the late Rudolph) Rujevcan, Ruth (the late Milan) Radjen; brother, Ned (the late Kim) Pujo; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and kumovi.

Donald was preceded in death by his parents: Milosh and Bosiljka Pujo; three brothers: Risto Pujo, baby Risto Pujo, Rodomer Pujo; and sisters; Radmila (Alex) Jackovich and Joan (Leonard) Springer.

Don retired from US Steel Sheet and Tin Warehouse #7 with over 36 years of service. He is alumnus of Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN. Donald was a part of Local Union 1066, life long member of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, and a supporting member of Karageorge. He belonged to S.N.F. Lodge #16 and was a gold card member of Gary Sportsman Club.

Donald was a generous philanthropist with a kind heart. He was always looking for ways to help others. He left a mark in the village of Gomiljani where he rebuilt St. George Church. During the time of rebuilding, Donald wrote this poem:

“Enter the gates of Salvation, The Path ahead will cleanse your soul. It is the one our Lord has provided, if redemption is your goal. Each and every one of us one day will hear the Lord’s calling. If we comprehend His message, while we are praying, we will appreciate specifically what He is saying, about the church. Enter the gate of redemption and salvation of one’s soul. Ahead awaits the sunrise of our Lord’s Presence and forgiveness. The path chosen, only He and you will know. Divert to the left all of us once born will feel the pain of the roses thorn. Beyond lies our final home here on earth. Our Lord will determine what we are worth. Pursue the path’s beauty while you are here. To secure His sacred love for He is near. Be aware of the lemon trees that greet you, tempting as they are, their fruit bitter, reminding us of life on earth. We are not far. Enter the threshold, His kingdom calls. Not all are worthy, and some will fall. Who will enjoy the comfort of this divine retreat? Only those worthy of our Lord will worship at His feet. Those of us who answer His call will find solace within, from God above and become recipients of His everlasting Love. Thank you Lord for revealing the way to the path I have chosen today. I pray I will be worthy of Thy Grace. And enable me entrance to Thy Heavenly Place. Grant this O Lord I pray with this prayer of redemption, the salvation of my soul one day, and exemption.”

Friends may visit with the family Wednesday, April 21, 2021, from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services at 11:00 a.m. directly at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, 9191 Mississippi St., Merrillville, IN 46410. Interment to follow at Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville, IN. Arrangements entrusted to GEISEN FUNERAL AND CREMATION SERVICES in Merrillville, IN.

For the health and safety of the Pujo Family, we kindly ask that masks be worn while attending visitation or funeral services. Thank you.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Donald’s name to St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church and Pavilion Fund.

Punisha Zizich – 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 Punisha Zizich. Memory eternal.

Visitation for Punisha Zizich, 53, of Lake Zurich will be held Wednesday, March 3, 2021 from 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm at the Ahlgrim Family Funeral Home, 415 S Buesching Road, Lake Zurich. A Funeral Service will be held at 12:00 pm on Thursday, March 4, 2021 at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, 9191 Mississippi Street, Merrillville, Indiana 46410. The Interment will follow at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cemetery in Merrillville, Indiana.

He passed away suddenly on February 26, 2021. Puyo was a man of many talents, had a heart of gold, and was larger than life. His passions included: soccer refereeing, working on his cars, organizing classic car events, and spending time with family. He was a wonderful husband, father, and friend to many. He leaves behind his wife, Zora Zizich; son, Nikola Zizich; sister, Sonya Haviland; and Brother-in-law Chad Haviland. He was a wonderful Godfather and Uncle to many.  Fly high, we love you.

Join us for Zadusnice Memorial Service – Saturday, March 6 – St. Sava, Merrillville, Indiana

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Please join us for a special Zadusnice Memorial Service taking place Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Sava Church, Merrillville, IN.

We encourage anyone to attend. There is no need to bring anything special to this service other than your memories and prayers for your loved ones. However, we do encourage you to write down a list of departed family members and friends, if you wish, to bring with you to the service so that we may read the names and remember all of them.

The purpose of the memorial service is to bring comfort to both the living and the dead. As is sung in the concluding song – Memory Eternal – it also helps us keep the memory of loved ones alive.

Zadusnice, also known as Saturday of Souls or All Souls’ Day, is a day commemorating the faithful departed, particularly but not exclusively one’s relatives. This special observance takes place on a Saturday, a traditional day for prayer for the dead, because Christ lay dead in the Tomb on Saturday.

For the Zadusnice observance, there is normally a Panikhida (memorial service) served on the Saturday morning for which Koliva (a dish made of boiled wheatberries and honey) is prepared and placed in front of the cross or icon with a lit candle, before which the Panikhida is served.

After the service, the priest blesses the koliva and it is then eaten as a memorial by all present.

Zadusnice Memorial Service takes place four times per year. If you are not available this Saturday, we encourage you to join us for the next Zadusnice Memorial Service which will appear Saturday, June 19, 2021 on the St. Sava Church online calendar.

Richard Vrtikapa

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Richard Marko Vrtikapa, age 91, of Merrillville, IN passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 1, 2019. He was preceded in death by his parents, Marko and Bosiljka Vrtikapa; his beloved wife Rose Mary, and their daughters Karen and Susan Vrtikapa, brothers Mirko Vrtikapa, Steve (late Judith) Vrtikapa, Gordon Vrtikapa and sister Dessa Bogosian.

He is survived by two daughters: Kathy (Jay) Friedlander of Carmel, IN , Nancy (Tom) Allesee of Palm Coast, FL; five grandchildren: Susan, Michael and Karen Friedlander and Taylor and Tyler Allesee; sisters Olga (late Ted) Vukelich of Midland, PA, Anka (late Theodore) Rudman, and Milena (late George) Rudman of Valparaiso, and brother John (Sue) Vrtikapa of Hobart, sister-in-law Geraldine (late Mirko) Vrtikapa of Merrillville, IN; sister in-law Barbara (Jim) Shinovich of Crown Point and sister-in-law Sandra Jo (late Russell) Maranto of Harvey, IL; many nieces and nephews and Kumovi Nick Tarailo and Donna Blesich.

Born in Gary, IN, Richard graduated from Emerson High School; after which he served in the Navy during WWII and worked 50 years for USSteel, Gary IN. Richard always had a smile, and was known for his polite, loving and helpful nature. Richard was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. Known as “Uncle Richard” by many young people. He was a dedicated member of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, and served on the church board for many years. He was a supporting member of the St. Sava Serbian Sisters, Karageorge Choir and St. Sava Historical Society and Lifeline of Chicago.
Visitation will be held at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel, 7535 Taft St., Merrillville, IN on Thursday, January 3, 2019 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM with a Pomen Service at 7:30pm V. Rev. Marko Matic officiating.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 AM on Friday, January 4, 2019 DIRECTLY at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, Merrillville, IN. Interment Calumet Park Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Lifeline Humanitarian Organization of Chicago, 444 N. Michigan Ave. Suite 1200, Chicago, IL 60611 or St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, Merrillville, IN.
For further information please contact Mileva or Dave at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel, 219-736-5840. Condolences may be offered by visitingwww.mycalumetpark.com

Rade Pejic, MD

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Rade Pejic, MD

February 3, 1940 – August 6, 2018

It is with great sadness that the family of Dr. Rade Pejic, of New Orleans, LA and Michigan City, IN, announces his passing at the University of Chicago Medical Center on August 6, 2018 due to complications following a recent heart attack.  He was 78.

Dr. Pejic was born as an American citizen on February 3, 1940 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia (now Serbia) to Dr. Slavko Pejic (1896-1976) and Savka (Musulin) Pejic (1904-1984).  After surviving the German occupation of Yugoslavia during World War II, he arrived at New York Harbor in 1951 with his mother and sister to escape Communist rule.  In America, he struggled through a painful childhood and adolescence being separated from his parents and living with step relatives.  He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1962 with a B.A. in chemistry and from the University of Pittsburgh – School of Medicine in 1966.

He served as a surgeon and Lieutenant Commander in the US Navy Medical Corps from 1968 to 1974, to include residencies at the Presbyterian University Hospital (Pittsburgh, PA) and the Portsmouth Naval Hospital (Portsmouth, VA), two tours on the USS Repose and the USS Sanctuary hospital ships during the Vietnam War where he performed trauma surgery on and saved the lives of many young Sailors and Marines wounded in battle, and was the assistant chief of surgery at Naval Hospital Boston (Chelsea, MA).  After being honorably discharged from the military, Dr. Pejic became the attending surgeon at Cooper Medical Center (Camden, NJ) in 1974 and then a cardiovascular fellow at St. John Hospital (Detroit, MI) in 1977.  In 1978, he settled in Michigan City, IN for a near 30-year unparalleled career at the Medical Group of Michigan City where he performed general, vascular, thoracic, angioplasty, and trauma surgery on thousands of patients at St. Anthony Hospital, LaPorte Hospital, and the former Memorial Hospital.

He is survived by his wife, Dr. Leslie Kramer Pejic, whom he married in 1973, after serving with her father, CAPT Scott Gregory Kramer, who was a surgeon and commanding officer at the Naval Hospital Boston.  They enjoyed 45 cherished years of marriage and raising a family together.  He is also survived by their five children: Lazar Scott (Jennifer) Pejic, JD, of Valparaiso, IN; Rade Nicholas (April) Pejic, MD; Nicholas Gregory (Laura) Pejic, MD, both of New Orleans, LA; Chelsea Alexandra Pejic, JD, of Chicago, IL; and Gregory Halsted Pejic, MPP, of Washington, D.C.  Dr. Pejic is survived by seven grandchildren: Scott; Jonathan; William; Grace; O’Hara; and twins Sofija and Isabela Savka Pejic.  Dr. Pejic was also awaiting his soon-to-be eighth grandchild, Elizabeth Leslie Pejic.  He is survived by his sister, Smiljana Pejic, and niece, Kristina Pejic, both of Collingswood, NJ, and his cousin, Branko (Valeria) Pejic, MD, of Cocoa, FL.  Dr. Pejic is preceded in death by his father and mother-in-law Scott Gregory Kramer, MD (1923-1998), and Margaret Jean Kramer (1924-2012).

Dr. Pejic valued hard work and family above all else.  He loved performing surgery and felt most at home in the operating room.  He knew that good surgical judgment and extreme attention to detail led to the best outcomes for his patients.  He enjoyed mentoring others, from high school students to colleagues, and was a consistent role model for doing your job well.  He believed that family should stick together and care for each other through thick and thin.  He considered his pets as family too—most recently his beloved Buster, who misses him dearly.  He believed in putting America first and was a fierce defender of the United States, especially our values of liberty and freedom, which he saw the Communists decimate in Yugoslavia after World War II.  For fun, Dr. Pejic enjoyed rooting for Pitt, the Steelers, and the Saints.  He had a spirited sense of humor and enjoyed classic movies, smoking a good cigar with friends, and talking with his family on the porch.  We will miss him greatly.  He was one of a kind and irreplaceable.

An evening celebration of his life and dinner will be held at Pottawattomie Country Club, 1900 Springland Ave, Michigan City, IN, for family, friends, and anyone who would like to honor his memory starting at 6 PM on Saturday, September 15, 2018.  Further details for RSVP will be forthcoming on social media.  A funeral service is not planned at this time; interment of the ashes will be in the Arlington National Cemetery (VA) at a later date.  Friends and acquaintances of Dr. Pejic may send condolence cards to his family at 2606 Oak St., Michigan City, IN 46360.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given in Dr. Pejic’s honor to the Michiana Humane Society, 722 Indiana Highway 212, Michigan City, IN 46360 (https://michianahumanesociety.org/in-memory).

Manda (Andrejich) Ellesin – 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 Manda (Andrejich) Ellesin. Memory eternal.

Manda (Andrejich) Ellesin (nee Sertic), age 91 of Hammond, passed away peacefully Saturday, June 17, 2017.

Manda was born on January 11, 1926 in East Chicago, IN to parents Joseph and Maria Sertic. She was a devoted member of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, and member and treasurer of the St Sava Serbian Sisters (Kolo).

She will be remembered for her dedication and working long hours making nut rolls and strudels for many church functions, she was also known for her famous “tortes”. Manda was employed by Inland Steel Company and worked in the Executive Dining Room.

She was very dedicated to her family and her church. Manda always put everyone else first and never wanted anything in return. She will be remembered as one class act loved by everyone young and old. Manda was dearly loved by her family and many friends for her warm heart, giving spirit, unique talents, and drive to live each day to the max.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Srbo Andrejich; parents Maria and Joseph Sertic; brother, John (Grace) Sertic. Manda is survived by her beloved children, son, Tom (Cintia) Andrejich; daughter, Sonja (Vinko) Mancich; her six loving grandchildren: Tony Mancich, Daniella (Dustin) Shurlow, Nick, Mitchell, Jacqueline and Christina Andrejich. She was a devoted and loving grandmother (Baba).

Visitation will be held Thursday, June 22, 2017 at the Calumet Park Funeral Chapel, 7535 Taft St, Merrillville from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with a Pomen Service at 7:00 p.m. V. Rev. Marko Matic officiating.

Funeral Services will be held Friday, directly at 10:00 a.m. at St Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, 9191 Mississippi St, Merrillville. Interment Calumet Park Cemetery.

We have been blessed to have had her all these years and she will be truly missed by all who knew her and loved her.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, 9191 Mississippi St, Merrillville, IN 46410, or Lifeline Humanitarian Organization, 200 N. Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60601. For further information please call Calumet Park Funeral Chapel (219) 736-5840.