January 9, 1927-May 29, 2016
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend. Joe passed away peacefully surrounded by his wife and family after a courageous battle with cancer. Left to cherish his memory is his wife of 65 years Zora, daughters Mira and Caroline, grandchildren Matthew (Jayme), Jonathan (Nicole), Andrew (Becky), Kiera and great-granddaughter Mila. Joe was deeply loved and held a special place in the hearts of those that knew him.
Joe was predeceased by his infant son Nickolas, father Max, Mother Kata, brother Steve, sisters Ana and Bara.
Joe was born 89 years ago in Kostenjevac Hrvatska, Croatia. As a young boy he worked on the family farm. During WWII, he was drafted into the army at the age of 17. Joe was a courier and was responsible for relaying messages on foot through hostile territories. After returning home Joe met Zora in 1949 and they married.
In 1958 Joe, Zora and young daughters immigrated to Canada and settled in Nanaimo. Joe’s first job was working for the CP Rail on Vancouver Island. Following that he worked at the Chemainus Sawmill then at the Eureka Sawmill. In 1968 he started working at Harmac where he remained, working on the Yard Crew until retirement in 1988. He had many fond memories of his co-workers and friends at Harmac.
Throughout his life Joe was admired by all that knew him. He was an extraordinary husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Joe instilled in his family his qualities of hard work, honesty, integrity, loyalty and generosity. His family was always his priority and his grandchildren were his pride and joy. Joe proudly attended every sporting event, concert and celebration for his grandchildren. Another highlight was teaching each one of them to drive. Family gatherings and dinners were many and memorable. Joe was the family Mr. Fix-It and was always ready to lend a hand. In his retirement years he also enjoyed his morning walks, gardening, playing cards and bocce with his Croatian friends.
The family would like to thank his longtime family physician Dr. Peter King, Homecare nurses and caregivers and Palliative nurses for their care, kindness and compassion.
A funeral service will be held at St. Peter’s Catholic Church on Friday, June 3rd, 2016 at 11am. Burial to follow at Cedar Valley Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Joe’s memory to the Nanaimo Hospital Foundation.
Rest in peace, forever in our hearts.