September 22, 1934 – October 28, 2021
We lost an incredibly courageous and hardworking, husband, brother, father and grandfather on October 28th, 2021. Rade Salapura was born on September 22, 1934, in Bosanski Petrovac, to Mile and Sava Salapura. Recognizing his zest for learning, his parents sent him to live with his aunt and uncle when Rade was sixteen, so he could continue to get his education. He excelled in all areas of schooling, especially mathematics, science, and history. After finishing grade 13 with honors and realizing the limited opportunities open to him to speak his truth, he made the decision to escape from Yugoslavia without telling anyone including his family. Rade spent two years as a refugee in Austria working on farms. Through the church, he was then offered the opportunity to immigrate to Canada in 1956 and was set up with a job at the mill in Port Alberni. Soon after, Rade met the love of his life, Naida whom he married in 1958. In 1964, Rade moved his family to Nanaimo then later to Cedar where he purchased a 55-acre farm. They lived in Cedar for 45 years raising cows, chickens, pigs and turkeys, grew and sold hay, and tended a large vegetable garden. Rade worked at Madill’s where he was hired as a mechanic and later responsible for all their maintenance work involving electronics, hydraulics, plumbing and any other equipment that needed repairs. Rade was more than a “Jack of all trades”. He accepted challenges with enthusiasm and perseverance.
Rade Salapura was a true humanitarian. He made a positive difference in the lives of many. Once settled in Canada, he brought his sixteen-year-old sister from Yugoslavia to Nanaimo, whom he supported throughout high-school and during her first few years of university. Later, Rade brought over his brother (and his family) with the intention of improving their lives in a country that provided more opportunities and freedom. Rade was very generous with his time and his knowledge. He was always happy to lend a hand to his neighbours and friends. Whether it was repairing T.V.s and other electronics or putting in the plumbing and electricity in a home being built, Rade was there to help. He was not only reliable, but the quality of his work was also always impeccable. In the early 1980’s, together with his son Jovan, Rade founded Cedar Rapids Enterprises Ltd, which provided excavating services to the Cedar and Nanaimo areas. In 1990, ACHIM, a machine shop focused on fabrication and heavy equipment repair, was formed.
In 1981, Rade was in a vehicle accident which caused a serious brain injury and in 2010 was diagnosed with early Dementia. Since 2016, Rade has been living in Long-term care both in Victoria at Royal Jubilee and here in Nanaimo.
Rade Salapura was predeceased by his father in 1995, his mother in 1999, his son, Jovan in 2011 and his sister Milja, in 2017. He leaves behind his loving wife of 63 years, Naida. He is survived by his five daughters Des, Nevenka, Bosiljka, Jovanka and Branka and his grandchildren Megan, Katie, Jessica, Samantha, Nikita, Keaton, Natalie, Dylan, Tara along with four great grandchildren. Rade also leaves behind his brother Dragan, and his sister, Milka along with their families.
We will miss our Jeda, our brother, our father and husband. We will miss his stories and his songs, but most of all we will miss his sense of adventure and his love of his culture.
We give thanks to all of those who were Rade’s friends over the years. He loved his conversations with each of you either over a glass of howling juice, a cup of coffee or a homecooked meal. We would like to give special thanks to those who supported Rade in the later stages of his dementia. This includes his Social Worker, Jackie, Dr. Francis Nuamah, along with the staff at Nanaimo Seniors Village where he was lovingly supported especially in his last days. We extend much gratitude to his friends who visited Rade while he was in care. It truly does take a village.
In lieu of flowers, you are welcome to give a donation to Nanaimo Seniors Village for their Dementia Care Program. A celebration of life will be held with his family and closest friends in attendance. Should you wish to pay your respects to Naida, you can contact her at Wexford Creek (250) 753- 4044.
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