Gracanica Community Festival 2024


Cejic, Petko (Peter)

July 12, 1940 – January 19, 2023

Born on July 12, 1940 passed away January 19, 2023. Dear husband of Josipa (Josephine) (Nee Toth). Proud father of Sinisa (Sonny) and wife Mariana, Sasha and wife Demetra. Dear grandfather of Natasha, Nadia, Lilliana and Alexandra Cejic. Peter worked for many years as a millwright for both General Motors and Ford Motor company. Visiting to take place on Sunday, January 22, 2023 at Windsor Chapel (Central Location) 1700 Tecumseh Rd E. 519-253-7234, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Prayers to be held at 7:30 p.m. Visitation to continue on Monday, January 23, 2023 at Gracanica Serbian Orthodox Church, 1960 Meldrum Rd, Windsor, Ontario from 9:30 a.m. until time of Funeral Service at 10 a.m. Interment to follow at Windsor Memorial Gardens. Online condolences and cherished memories may be shared with the family at

Gargrica, Pavao

May 29, 1939 – March 19, 2023

Passed peacefully with his loving family by his side. Predeceased by parents Milica and Nikola. Loving brother to Sava (Slavka (2022)), Ljubica Vucenovic (Milenko), late Branko (Bosa) and Spiro (Laurel).
He will be dearly missed by his many nieces and nephews, in Canada, USA, and Serbia, of whom he was a very proud uncle.
Pavao retired from Ford Motor Company after 32 years of service. He loved to travel and enjoyed photography, painting and reading.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, March 22, 2023 from 5-8 p.m. and will continue on Thursday from 10 a.m. until the Funeral Service in the Chapel at 11 a.m. Interment to follow at Windsor Memorial Gardens.

Lazic, Mileva

October 9, 1932 – March 29, 2023

Passed away peacefully at Aspen Lake LTC at the age of 90 on March 29, 2023. Cherished mother to Mike (Mladen) Lazic and daughter-in-law Sharon Lazic. Loving grandmother to Petar and Christina and Aleksandar and a very proud great- grandmother to Owan. Will be sadly missed by many nieces, nephews, Godchildren and friends and family residing in Serbia, Windsor, Ottawa, Hamilton, Montreal, and British Columbia. We will truly miss her strength and lively spirit.

A very special thank you to all the staff of Aspen Lake who often went above and beyond the call to comfort and compassionately care for Mileva and other residents.

Visitation will be held at Janisse Funeral Home,1139 Ouellette Ave., Windsor
(519-253-5225) on Sunday April 2nd, 2023 from 2p.m. to 4p.m. and 6p.m. to 8p.m. Family and friends are invited to gather at the Serbian Orthodox Church Gracanica, 1960 Meldrum, Windsor, on Monday April 3rd, 2023 for the Funeral Service at 10a.m, Very Rev. Fr. Vladimir Vranic Officiating. Interment to follow at Windsor Memorial Gardens. If so desired, memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer Society of Ontario. Online condolences may be left at

Jelich, Steven

December 9, 1967 – March 31, 2023

Our hearts are broken as we sadly announce the sudden passing of Steven Jelich at the age of 55, on March 31, 2023, in London, Ontario. His loving and kind heart failed him during his happiest time – completely elated and content with life along with his hopes and dreams for the future with his wife Jelena (Sarapa) and daughter Danijela.

Steven was born on December 9, 1967 to the most loving parents Sylvia (Vukanovich) and the late Dusan Jelich in Windsor, Ontario. When his father passed away suddenly at the age of 54, Steven held strong and affectionately took care of his mother and his two younger brothers… becoming the father figure to them as well. He often teased his mother, which he tended to do with people that he loved. She teased right back, chuckled and would often say “Oh Steven, stop it!” Steven loved his mother with every bit of his heart and would often recall the special memories he had of his father and mother growing up.

Steven was the oldest and best big brother to Andrew (Mara) and David (Mira); sister-in-law Nada Tremblay (Donovan); brother-in-law Milan Sarapa (Deanna). The bond he had with his brothers Andrew and David along with his cousin Adam was unbreakable. Daily chats teasing each other with Steven often being the biggest offender. They loved each other wholeheartedly. When he visited Windsor, he would often stay with his younger brother David and family where his mom also resided. He enjoyed that special time with his brother, each taking a sofa and watching their favourite movies, particularly James Bond. Whereas visits with his brother Andrew were always in anticipation of finding a way to receive one of Andrew’s famous massages. The three brothers had a very special bond, never having to use words – there was an unspoken love that was always there and interpreted.

Steven deeply respected his father and mother-in-law, Dmitar and Milica Sarapa as they were a source of love, support, and guidance to him as a husband and father. His father-in-law loved when Steve was the apprentice on many home projects, teaching him how to build a fence, do small jobs around the house, and how to perfect his game in UNO. His mother-in-law who he affectionately called “Ma” always ensured that he was properly fed (her lasagna was his favourite), and she would often comment on how handsome he looked.

The love he had for his nieces and nephews was tremendous. His affection and humour was always there for Maja, Ana, Mila, Dmitri, Donovan, Dejan and Mileja. Just recently, he dressed up as a Leprechaun for his youngest niece Mileja, which brought her the biggest smile – that was Steve.

Steven will be sadly missed by many relatives – including aunts, uncles, cousins, and Kumovi and many friends with strong friendships made over the years.

Steven was born and raised in Windsor, moving to North Bay and then London over the past several years. He was known as a family man – family always came first. He radiated with his exaggerated expressions of stories he told about his family, which always brought a twinkle to his eye.

After graduating Massey High School, he received his Honours Bachelor Comm and MBA from the University of Windsor, and began his 27- year career at Union Gas (Enbridge Gas Inc.) in 1995, working in many parts of the organization, progressing to more senior leadership roles including Director South West Operations and most recently as Director Contract Market Harmonization Program. He committed to numerous extracurricular activities supporting the company’s community programs including active roles as the United Way Vice-Chair and Chair 2014 and 2015, First Robotics contest Judge, and Director of the Board of the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Chair of the Advocacy Committee. Steven was well-respected for his collaborative and professional style and made a significant impact on people with his great ability to build strong relationships over his career. His unique sense of humour and ability to make people smile will be missed by many.

As an active member of the Windsor-Essex Serbian community, he met his beautiful wife and true love Jelena (Sarapa) and wed on September 23, 2000, and became a very proud Tata, welcoming his precious Zlato, Danijela on April 19, 2003. The three were known as the Three Musketeers, doing everything together whether it was travelling to Danijela’s skating competitions or moving to different parts of Ontario for business, they were a true team.

Steven loved soccer, tennis (Novak Djokovic!), football (Detroit Lions!) and his love for Elvis impersonations were like nothing else. He was an avid reader but there is one book that held a special place in his heart, given to him by his father – a Dale Carnegie book of poetry and special quotes.

“All men have fears, but the brave put down their fears and go forward, sometimes to death, but always to victory.” – Dale Carnegie

If you wish to honour Steven’s memory, donations may be made to Gracanica Orthodox Church or Serbs for Serbs Canada, 635 The Queensway LL, Etobicoke, ON M8Y 1K6, Canada, website accepts credit card donations. (

Dobrich, Vera

January 31, 1948 – April 22, 2023

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Vera at the age of 75. Beloved wife of the late Mirko (2022). Proud mother to Tomislav (Mimi) of Windsor and Momcilo (Martina) of Serbia. Dear Grandmother to Nikolina, Marko, Milan and Sanja. Vera is predeceased by her parents Ilija and Nada Parojcic, and sister Nancy Kosich (2023). Survived by her younger sister Mirjana Milosevic (Milan) of Hamilton. Vera leaves behind many nieces, nephews, Kumovi and friends in Canada, USA, England and Serbia. Vera was a dedicated member of the Gracanica Church Choir since moving to Windsor and her beautiful soprano voice will be greatly missed. Heartfelt gratitude to Father Vladimir Vranic for his spiritual guidance and support, Dr. Kanjekaal, Dr. Burgess, Dr. Koutras, Windsor Regional Cancer Center, the nurses of Paramed/VON, and the Hospice of Windsor and Essex County staff for the wonderful care she received.

Visitation will take place at Windsor Chapel (Banwell Chapel) 11677 Tecumseh Rd. E. 519-253-7234 on Monday, April 24, 2023 from 5-7 p.m. with Pomen at 7 p.m. Friends and family are requested to meet for Funeral Service at Gracanica Serbian Orthodox Church, 1960 Meldrum Rd, Windsor, ON, at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, April 25, 2023. Burial to follow at Windsor Memorial Gardens, 1100 Division Rd., Windsor, ON.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Gracanica Serbian Orthodox Choir or the Transition to Betterness Windsor.

Krneta, Ilinka

May 16, 1940 – May 17, 2023

IIinka passed away Wednesday May 17, 2023, with her loving family by her side. Loving wife of 52 years to the late Dusan Krneta. Proud Mama of Milorad Krneta and Marija Krneta. Adoring Baka to Aleksandar and Daniel. Survived by brother Milorad Backo (Grozdana), Vera Toskovic (Nebojsa), Radmilla Yee (Billy). Predeceased by her parents Stevan and Marija Backo, sisters Mira, Bosa, and Danica. Ilinka has extended family in England, California, and Canada.

Ilinka was born in Knin, Dalmatia in the former Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Later she moved to Leicester England where she became an active member of the Church School Congregation. In 1961 she met her beloved husband Dusan, and they were blessed with 2 children Milorad and Marija. In 1969 the family immigrated to Windsor, Ontario where Ilinka became a devoted member of Gracanica Serbian Orthodox Church and taught church school for many years. Ilinka was a member of the Serbian Sisters Princess Helen and Serbian Singing Society Gracanica. She will be fondly remembered and respected for her mild manner, kind heart and love of her Christian Orthodox Faith. The family would like to thank Dr. Bleyandahl and the Hospice of Windsor. Many thanks to family, Kumovi and friends for their continuous support.

Visiting will be held at Anderson Funeral Home and Cremation Centre. 895 Ouellette Avenue (519) 254- 3223 on Monday May 22nd from 3-5pm and 7-9pm. with Prayers Monday Evening at 8pm. Ilinka will then rest at Gracanica Serbian Orthodox Church 1960 Meldrum on Tuesday May 23rd from 10:00am to the time of the funeral service at 11:00am. The Very Reverend Vladimir Vranic officiating. Interment Windsor Memorial Gardens. Share memories, photos or make a donation at

Vaskovic, Mirko

July 16, 1956 – May 20, 2023

To Those I Love,

When I am gone, release me, let me go
I have so many things to see and do
You must not tie yourself to me with tears
Be happy that I have had so many years

I gave you my love, you can only guess
How much you gave me in happiness
I thank you for the love each have shown
But now it is time I traveled on alone

So grieve a while for me, if grieve you must
Then let your grief be comforted by trust
It is only for a while that we must part
So bless the memories in your heart

I will not be far away, for life goes on
So if you need me, call and I will come
Though you cannot see or touch me, I will be near
And if you listen with your heart, you will hear
All of my love around you soft and clear
Then, when you must come this way alone
I will greet you with a smile and welcome you home.

Stranatic, Slobodan

May 25, 1963 – June 12, 2023

Passed away peacefully on June 12, 2023 at the age of 60. Slobodan leaves behind adoring Wife Djuka. Beloved father to Jelena and Jovana. Cherished grandfather to Sara. He will be missed by brother Nebojsa Stranatic. He will be forever remembered by his love of fishing. Visitation will be held on June 16, 2023 at Windsor Chapel Funeral Home – Banwell Location (11677 Tecumseh Rd. E, Windsor 519-253-7235) from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. with Prayers at 6:00 p.m. A Funeral Service will be held at Gracanica Orthodox Church (1960 Meldrum Rd., Windsor) on Saturday, June 17th, 2023 at 11:00 a.m with Fr. Vladimir Vranic. Procession to Windsor Memorial Gardens to follow. Luncheon reception will take place at Caboto Club (2175 Parent Ave., Windsor) following the burial at 1:30 p.m. Online condolences and cherished memories may be shared at

Stankovic-Petrovic, Milanka

February 5, 1958 – September 4, 2023

Milanka (Mila) Petrovic-Stankovic who loved to be called “Baka” by her grandkids departed her loving family on September 4, 2023. She was raised in Beograd, Srbija and immigrated to Canada 35 years ago. Mama sacrificed everything for her family and put everyone else before herself to give us the lives we have today. She was an absolute force to be reckoned with, who left an impression everywhere she went. Always the life of the party, her infectious smile and laugh would always brighten everyone’s day. Anyone who was fortunate enough to know her, knew what a fashionista she was and how much she loved to travel. Giving her directions consisted of “What mall is closest?”, as no mall existed that she didn’t know of. Her entire world revolved around her three granddaughters, Nina, Nati and Bella whom she loved more than life. “Bakas house, Bakas rules!” was her motto and she never said no to them. They were her Dusa, Srce and Oko, and she will forever be loved by them. Mama was taken from us way to soon and left us broken hearted, but we love her more than words could possibly say and will forever carry her in our hearts.

Alexander Paranosic

December 18, 1936 – September 29, 2023

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Alexander Paranosic quietly at home, surrounded by loved ones on September 29, 2023 in his 87th year.

Beloved husband of Kathleen for over 55 years. Dearest Tata to Marko (Kerri), Stevan (Denise), Juliana Yuzdepski (Curtis) and Nikola (Camille). Cherished Deda to Mathias, Nicklas, Amélie, Annika, Elise, Katie, Alexandre, Erik, Isabelle, Kristie, Alexei, and Antonin.

Born in Serbia, Alexander spent time in Italy before coming to Canada in 1961. He was able to speak multiple languages and was known to speak flawless Italian. After moving to Windsor from Winnipeg, he built a successful painting business, Alexander Painting, that lasted over 40 years. Alexander had a great love of soccer which he passed on to his children and grandchildren. He was an excellent chess player. He will be remembered for his big personality and deeply missed.

The family would like to thank the doctors, home support and Hospice teams that supported Alexander in his last days.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to The Hospice of Windsor and Essex County or Parkinson’s Foundation would be greatly appreciated by the family.

Mile Zagorac

August 22, 1944 – November 24, 2023

Mile will be laid to rest in Windsor Memorial Gardens, Windsor, Ontario.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at Anderson Funeral Home Windsor for the Zagorac family.

Milivoje Bircakovic

December 7, 1935 – December 2, 2023

It is with immeasurable grief that we announce the passing of Milivoj Bircakovic, beloved suprug, tata, deda, brat, čiko, kum, i prijatelju. He was surrounded with love by family during his passing on the evening of December 2nd, 2023 at the age of 87, five days before his 88th birthday.

Milivoj was born on December 7th, 1935, in a village in Serbia. His ambitions took him closer to the capital, and he met his beautiful wife, Katica. But he had his heart set on Canada, and after they started their family and he spent a little more time working in his trade in Europe, they immigrated with their young son, Dragan, to Windsor. Although they came here with few assets and no knowledge of the language, he continued his career, working hard and soon establishing his own business in tool & die that lasted until his retirement. He was known for his strong work ethic, precision, and dedication to detail. Alongside his work, Mile took pride in providing a good life for his family, which grew with his two daughters, Diana and Natalie, and then again with his two beautiful grandchildren, of whom he was extremely proud. He couldn’t dream of a better granddaughter than Alexi, who shares his work ethic and attention and dedication to detail, or a more darling grandson than Matéo, who shares his quiet demeanor and unique sense of humour. Both also share his enthusiasm for athletics. Mile loved to watch a good game, and a wide variety of sports. Alexi practiced gymnastics in her youth, which was one of the sports he loved, and almost as soon as Matéo was able to walk and kick, he taught him to “shoot” a soccer ball towards a goal in the backyard.

He made cherished lifelong friendships within the Serbian community, some that have lasted over long distances as well as years, enjoying cultural celebrations and helping foster an extended family for his children with honoured kumovi, tetas and čikos, giving his children and himself a connection to his home and the heritage he was so proud of. He had a close relationship with his nephew Dubravko, and always made sure there was a bottle of brandy, whisky, or cognac, and coffee to share with him when he visited, and he adored his nephew Denis, whose visits at the shop always brightened his day. These two men always brought a smile to his face and they, along with his cherished niece Tanya, her husband Chris, and Dubravko’s beautiful wife Natalia and their daughters, have all embraced him and provided him with so much love, celebration, and pulled together for any support and help he might need.
A private and often reserved and quiet man, Milivoj nevertheless held a singular and charming sense of humour all his life, often subtle, sometimes silly, accompanied by a sly little smirk, and never repeated. You sometimes had to be quick enough to catch it, as if you were trying catch to an airborne fly in your hand–which was another of Mile’s talents.

As he grew older and closer to retirement, his dedication turned even more to home life, displaying a tenderness and pride in caring for his beloved pet and in noticing the little things he liked, and in growing tomatoes and sometimes other vegetables during the summer. He was masterful at chess. He loved good, fresh and light foods, breakfasts, palačinke and pancakes, treating himself to a coffee from McDonald’s, and spending time just being near his lovely wife (and basically teasing her half the time). His tastes were simple, but he still enjoyed the finer things in life, such as taking pride in his appearance with quality clothing that provided comfort, classic style, and longevity, another testament to the wisdom in his practicality, his ability to look to the future, his love of comfort, and his enjoyment of life.
Milivoj is survived by his beloved wife Katica, his loving children Dragan, Diana, and Natalie, his grandchildren Alexi and Mateo, four living siblings, his nieces and nephews in Canada and in Serbia, his kumovi, his good friends and their children, and his dearest pet.

He joins his father and mother, his sister and brother, and his good friend Ilija in peace, in Heaven.