John Vukojevich was born September 24th, 1943 in the small farming town Šipovača in Bosnia and Herzegovina. John passed away on October 22, 2023.
He was one of 8 children of Srečko and Cvita. John, who changed his first name from Ivan, made an exciting escape from Yugoslavia in 1961. He arrived in Los Angeles via Italy in 1963, where he lived across the street from St. Anthony’s Croatian Church with his Uncle Louis Culjak. He attended the church weekly, having met many good friends there throughout his life. Within a decade, he married Vivian Foss.
They briefly lived in Chicago before returning to California and settling down in La Canada. They had 3 children while John worked for a few different Croatian construction companies. He helped run the huge pipelines up and down Southern California.
Vivian and John divorced after 17 years. John was proud seeing his children going off to college, starting their own careers and eventually having grandchildren.
John eventually found lasting love when he met Barbara Negovetic. They were together for 26 years. His favorite pastimes were gardening, cooking and talking with his friends. He enjoyed people, often bringing them to tears of laughter with his wildly funny stories.
John was a very likable character who was very memorable to those who spent time with him. He had a catchphrase which he repeated often: “Don’t worry about it”…his version of saying that everything will be okay (a comforting thought that is sort of the unofficial motto of the Croatian people).
John was loved and shall be dearly missed by Barbara and his children Ante, Libby and Stella. John’s 6 grandchildren Kayla, Jessica, Katarina, Evelina, Hazel and Charlotte brought the most joy to his life in the later years. He will also be missed by his surviving Croatian siblings, Stana, Nevenka and Vinko and many nieces and nephews still in Croatia and Sipovaca.
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