Nick Dushan Grgich
Nick Dushan Grgich
Nick Dushan Grgich passed away on July 3, 2011, in Sonoma. He was 89.
Born Feb. 8, 1922, to Serbian immigrant parents, Nick grew up in a close-knit Serbian enclave in Steubenville, Ohio. His childhood was filled with hardship due to his father's early death, yet his memories were of laugh-out-loud moments and innocent mischief with boyhood pals that became lifelong friends.
As a staff sergeant with the U.S. Army 12th armored division "Hellcats," Nick served his country overseas during World War II before becoming disabled due to a jeep accident. He belonged to and actively participated, in veterans organizations throughout his life. Although he suffered from a multitude of physical ailments, Nick grew into a positive, funny, charming and endlessly enthusiastic man. Through a post-war VA program, he completed a cabinet-maker apprenticeship that marked the beginning of a lifelong love of woodworking that was both vocation and pastime.
While settled in Daly City where he raised his family, he gave back much to his church community. Nick was honored to have his woodworking pieces in use and valued by clergy and parishioners since 1954. Nick brought his passion home after his retirement in 1973 when, with his usual eye for detail and fondness for Formica, he realized his dream of designing and building a home in Sonoma. Although he didn't take up golf until retirement, it became another passion he enjoyed. He was active in the Sonoma Regulars and Sonoma SIRs, proudly hosting their annual barbecue at his home.
Of course his legacy would not be the same had he not, as a young man, met the love of his life, Celia "Cil" Pavich. Partners in marriage, adventure and life for more than 65 years - theirs was a special love and devoted friendship. His heart always beat a little faster when she entered a room.
Her infinite love, courage, support, friendship and sense of humor saw him through to the end of this journey and on to the next.
Nick leaves his sons, Steve (Natasha), Stan, Dan (Sharon) and Mitch (Cathy) and grandchildren, Kyle, Kaia, Nick and Michael. He is survived by his sister, Olga Krnich; godchildren, Ann and George Tepovich and his dearly beloved nephews, nieces and their families. Nick is predeceased by his parents, Dushan and Mary, as well as his siblings, Helen Lapov, Martha Kardum, Anne Malbasa, Sophie Belden and Steve Grgich. His many family members and numerous friends will miss his active presence in their lives. Each of them have wonderful memories to hold close, and in the coming years each will realize the impact he had on them is beyond measure. Having Nick as a father, father-in-law, uncle, grandfather, godfather, mentor and loving friend will always be valued. Nick knew a lifetime of work that made him happy, a heart full of dreams that found their way true, and made a lot of really good friends along the way. The endless memories he created will sustain us for the rest of our lives.
Friends are invited to attend a memorial service, pomen (wake) today, Friday, July 8, 2011, 7 p.m., at Duggan's Mission Chapel, 525 W. Napa St. in Sonoma. Graveside services will be Saturday, July 9, 11 a.m. at Sonoma Veterans Memorial Park, 90 First St. W., Sonoma. A dacha luncheon follows.
Special thanks to Golden Living/London House for exceptional care, kindness and comfort. Donations may be made in his name, to St. John the Baptist Serbian Orthodox Cathedral, 900 Baker St., San Francisco, CA 94115 or to the charity of your choice.
Arrangements under the direction of Duggan's Mission Chapel, 525 W. Napa St., Sonoma.